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El Paso to Move Forward with Direct Potable Reuse

On February 11, 2015 the Public Service Board of El Paso, TX confirmed a plan to move forward with the approved pilot testing that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality received in December 2014.   The Roberto R. Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant will serve as the site where El Paso Water Utilities will “conduct agency coordination, independent advisory panel review, public outreach […] lab sampling and testing; equipment rental; and contractor services to perform the equipment installation,” according to the Public Service Board announcement.

El Paso is not the only city moving forward with this new reuse system. San Diego, CA and Wichita Falls, TX have also started direct potable reuse systems. The Wichita Falls website for public services boasts the quote from Desmond Lawler, professor of engineering at University of Texas, “If you want to drink very clean water, direct potable reuse will likely provide higher quality water than many drinking water plants currently produce now.”

Similarly, San Diego recently voted “unanimously to approve the advancement of the Pure Water San Diego project by submitting an application to renew the modified federal permit for the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant,” (see “San Diego Pure Water Project Passes City Council Vote”, JOW, February 2015). El Paso is not in desperate need of water, as was the case in Wichita Falls, rather they are preparing for potential shortages and diversifying their potable water source now

Written by Stratecon Staff