Wichita Falls Sees Wastewater Recycling As Solution To Drinking Water Shortage

Julie Spence of Wichita Falls says she trusts the city to adequately treat wastewater for drinking.

Shelley Kofler KERA News

Julie Spence of Wichita Falls says she trusts the city to adequately treat wastewater for drinking.

From KERA News:

Wichita Falls could soon become the first in the country where half of the drinking water comes directly from wastewater.

Yes, that includes water from toilets. For some citizens, that’s a little tough to swallow.

Mayor Glenn Barham says three years of extreme drought have changed life for 104,000 people living in Wichita Falls, which is about 140 miles northwest of Dallas.

“(There’s) no outside irrigation whatsoever with potable water. Car washes are closed one day a week.  If you drain your pool to do maintenance you aren’t allowed to fill it,” he explained.

The mayor says citizens are pitching in and have cut their city’s water use by more than one-third.  Still, water supplies are still expected to run out in two years, which is why the city has built a 13-mile pipeline that connects its wastewater plant to the plant where water is purified for drinking.

That’s right: What residents flush down the toilet will be part of what’s cleaned up and sent back to them through the tap.

“I think it’s gross,” said Marissa Oliveras as she ordered a glass of tap water with her sandwich at Gidget’s Sandwich Shack in downtown Wichita Falls.

“I mean it’s recycled wastewater we could be drinking,” she said.  She plans to switch to bottled water.

Precipitation records for the last three years in Wichita Falls, Texas, one of the areas hit hardest by the drought. The brown line is the expected precipitation level, and the green area is actual levels.

Victor Murphy / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Precipitation records for the last three years in Wichita Falls, Texas, one of the areas hit hardest by the drought. The brown line is the expected precipitation level, and the green area is actual levels.

Kira Smith saves money ordering tap water at the restaurant now, but says she’ll pay $1.89 for a bottle of water when the recycled wastewater begins to flow.

“It definitely grosses me out,” Smith said.  “I’m sure that they would clean it and filter it up to standards.  But it’s a mindset kind of thing. You know what I’m talking about?”

Barham says the city has undertaken a massive education campaign to reassure residents that the water will be clean and safe to drink, and to explain the science behind the treatment process.

Water experts know it as “direct potable reuse,” something that’s been tried on a much smaller scale in Big Spring, Texas.

But some people unceremoniously call it “toilet-to tap,” a moniker that Utilities Operations Manager Daniel Nix says isn’t really accurate.

“The vast majority of water that enters a wastewater plant did not come from a toilet.  It comes from sinks, and bathtubs and washing machines and dishwashers,” he said. Nix said less than 20 percent of wastewater comes from toilets.

Currently, wastewater here is treated and then emptied into the nearby Big Wichita River, where a natural cleansing process takes place. The water flows downstream to Lake Texoma, a big reservoir, where other cities treat it again before drinking it.

Nix says his city will recreate that natural cleansing process at its treatment plant.

Nix shows off several buildings full of equipment that will soon take the city’s dwindling supply of water from Lakes Arrowhead and Kickapoo and blend it with the treated wastewater. It will be a 50-50 mix that gets extra chlorination, advanced filtering and reverse osmosis.

Nix says the extra treatment will eliminate unwanted minerals and pathogens like cryptosporidium and giardia.

“We just don’t have time to put the water out in a body of water, a wetlands, or lake and allow nature to take its course,” Nix said.  “Inside the treatment plant, we speed those processes up so rather than wait several weeks for UV rays from the sun to disinfect or kill bacteria we do it in the plant using chlorine. It takes a matter of minutes to do it instead of weeks.”

At Gidget’s Snack Shack, Stephen Johnson is fine with what the city is about to do.

“If it’s a safe process and it’s potable, I don’t see an issue with it.  It’s water,” Johnson said with a shrug.

The restaurant’s owner, Julie Spence, says the city has done a lot of research and testing so she trusts officials to get it right.

She says she has to.

“It’s either that or pack up and move,” Spence said. “This is where I was born and raised and I’m not ready to close my business and pack up and move.”

Barham says he’s reserved the right to take the first sip when the recycled wastewater begins to flow.

He’s optimistic that most of his neighbors in Wichita Falls will also raise a glass and drink.

Comments

  • GibsonGirl99

    I love the way that folk who remember NOTHING of their basic 8th grade science react to this!! Every drop of H2O they have ever had is recycled pee!!!!

  • Reuse Vet

    All Water is recycled, there is no new water. We are all downstream of someone. Water is reused everyday on the Missouri, Mississippi, Colorado and Ohio rivers. The water molecule cannot be polluted, we put pollution around that molecule and we have the technology to clean that water back to its cleanest form. It is a sustainable supply and helps protects the environment from over pumping the aquifer. http://www.athirstyplanet.com/

  • PaulFelixSchott

    Father is that day of wrath near for them that destroy the Earth? KJV Rev 11:18

    Father look another fish near the top of the water Young Eagle soon there will be many as the water goes down.
    Father and when the water is gone what will we eat Young Eagle that is foretold in Revelation 19:17-18
    Have no fear young Eagle, those who are faithful to our Father in Heaven to the end will be saved.

    Father and the wicked and lost Young Eagle Most of them will die in the desert because they did not believe
    and were not faithful as did more then 3,000 years ago.

    Satan’s Sin City “Las Vegas” very soon to die like a fish out of water.

    World Leaders Pay Close “ATTENTION”.

    This Planet Earth Cannot And Will Not Support Life As We Know It Without Its FOREST.
    Soon all will take note to the sounds and rumbling of Volcanoes and Earthquakes Around Earth that are Waking Up at a Alarming Rate.
    Just as they did in 1883 from Krakatoa.

    LEADERS PLANT TREES WHILE YOU STILL CAN.

    Read well and study on your own after you have read this.

    This is not a game or joke our Sun gives off a Solar Wind all day year round. If you live in the State of Alaska you see it in the
    sky above what a sight it is going through our Earth’s Magnet Polls of the North and the South, North Poll. It’s called the
    Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis. The day will come when you will be able to see it all over Earth as in the year 1859 Solar Flare,
    It was the largest in 500 years. Two Astronomer’s Hodgson and Carrington told the World that the Solar Flare made a Geomagnetic
    Storm reach Earth in hours not days. Back then it gave new meaning to “Reach For The Skies” from Telegraph Operators.
    For hours sparks flew from the key board. Even after the Batteries were disconnected. Nov 3 and 4, 2003 had a X40+ Class Solar Flare,
    Thank GOD it was not coming at Earth this time.

    Our Sun’s UV Rays will get stronger as each passing day goes by, read and i will tell you why. The Great big FOREST have be stripped
    from most of the Earth for Greed of Money by the Wicked. The trees our are Main Source of Oxygen on this Plant. The Forest Trees scrubs
    the Pollution out of the air and makes Oxygen from the rain and dirt that it grows in. The Forest Trees do more than just make Oxygen
    they stop Soil Erosion, just Look at the 1930 Dust Bowl. Greed by our wicked Government leaders to bleed from us as much money as they
    could out of us thru taxes led farmers to clear cut all their Forest, and farm all the land they were being Tax on.
    They had to farm it to pay for the Taxes. Why leave the Trees when food crop makes Money.

    This Did not Help the Depression that effected most all Worldwide. More than 100 million in the coming years will suffer from Malnutrition
    and Dehydration. Going without Food and Safe Drinking Water to drink many will die!

    One country can see clearly and knows already the World’s food and safe drinking water supply is running out at a record pace. With one of
    the world’s largest Population it has taking steps to no longer let anyone in its country, export any of its farmland grown food or grain
    from INDIA to any other country Nov 2013.

    China is trying to buy up all the world’s grain it can and the future harvest of framers. Future Commodities of Food Stocks soon will climb
    like a rocket because of this. China is also right now working on passing laws on its farmers. China Rural Reforms On Farming Jan 2014.

    It to soon will become a country that will not export any of its food or grain to any other country. In the United States of America alone
    more than 46+ Million Americans Received Food Stamps and that number is going up every day every year since 2009.
    The number of Homeless is growing worldwide in America 20,000 in the once known to the world as
    “Motor City” Detroit Michigan.

    The bread and food lines are growing Worldwide. 100 to 300 in Sioux Falls S.D. Every Friday stand in the cold waiting to get food at the
    Military Armory. The same once a month in Hawaii in front of a Stone that dwarfs any man that reads…….

    (“IN MEMORY OF WAIALU – KAHUKU WORLD WAR II HEROES WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD MAY LIVE IN PEACE”)
    it list the names of many

    (“DEDICATED BY THE WAIALUA LIONS CLUB JULY 4, 1947″)

    Through the years many of us have help cook and feed the poor and needy in Hawaii and around the World, most of us USA Military or work or
    did work or Volunteered for Uncle Sam.

    And GOD willing may we be able to do so till our LORD returns.

    The Pollution and CO2 Carbon Dioxide go into the Tree Bark as a shield from most bugs so they do not eat the tree. Less Forest less Oxygen this
    is why the Moon. That has no Oxygen is very cold on the side without Sun Light, And hot as ever on the side with Sun Light. Way too cold and too
    hot to live there. You would need at least 10 times the Energy we use on Earth to even live there and life on the Moon would be very short.

    With no blank of Oxygen to lessen or reduce the Sun’s UV Rays and Solar Wind they are deadly there on our Moon. Every Mt. Climber and
    Aircraft Pilot knows the higher you go the thinner the Oxygen and colder it gets.
    Just spend a night on a Mt. top above 13,000 feet with no Sun Light and you will see or should i say feel the cold stinging any of your
    exposed skin. If you are new to Mt. Climbing stay below 10,000Ft. The Astronauts and the Cosmonauts and Fighter Pilots that i have been
    with for years know this very well, and the Radiation Hazards to humans at High Altitudes.

    Soon the Sun’s Solar Wind and UV rays will be way to strong for most to go out in the Sun Light for even a short time.

    The Geomagnetic Storm to come and the Bad Weather Storms well you have not seen nothing yet and the Sea Level is Rising the Oceans.
    Many Millions have been affected by Floods in China and Pakistan and around the planet.
    Every year there is more storms and they are stronger of greater magnitude and bigger.

    In 2005 Over a Thousand dead in New Orleans Flood, and the list is going on.
    Homes without Electric power are in the hundreds to 1,000 all over earth every year now from storms.
    Pray you are ready to be without power for a week or two in the cold winter or hot summer.

    GREENLAND Ice sheet took more than 3,000 years to get its mass size and weight.
    Greenland’Ice sheet is one of the largest ice sheets on this Planet Earth it is the second in mass. People on Earth are putting an end to it in
    less than 50 years.

    There is a very simple point to this. Dams all over the planet have had
    a Earthquake when filled too fast or let out a lot of water in a short time.

    GREENLAND Ice sheet Weight is a unbelievable amount as it gets lighter,
    GREENLAND ICE sheet WILL give a Earthquake no one will forget.
    Coastal cities LOOK OUT a Mt. Wall Of Water will come, from one of these Earthquakes. KJV Rev 6:12
    If you live by the coastline now is a good and smart time to move you might not get another chance to do so in time. History has recorded times of coastal
    towns, cities and coastline being inundated by sea water 5 to 10 miles inland.

    In the past 50 years Earth has had more FLOODING then in the last 1,000 years. 1014AD VERY LARGE TIDAL WAVES THE LARGEST EVER RECORDED FROM IMPACTS,
    ALL OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN AFTER PASSING THROUGH COMET’S LONG TAIL.
    LEVELING WHOLE CITIES AND TOWN THAT WERE MILES INLAND.

    And there shall be Famines, and Pestilences, and Earthquakes, in divers places such as was not from the beginning of the Creation.

    Scientist Dr. Katharine Giles had done many experiments investigating “Sea Ice Thickness”, and showed it to governments around the Earth how the
    Sun rays and winds affected the newly exposed Arctic Ocean. Some of Scientist Dr. Giles research focused on using satellites to better understand
    the physics of the ice covered Polar Oceans.

    Scientist Dr. Giles to all Warning Water will warm faster than ICE covered water or water with ice in it.

    The last 30 years On Earth we have broke all High Temp Records and the temp it is still going up.

    All the Worlds Ice Glacier are melting at an Accelerating Rate. The Glaciers and Polar Ice Caps store more water than all the Fresh Water Lakes on Earth.
    Look to the (US Gov web site “USGS U.S. Geological Survey” Repeat Photography of Alaskan Glaciers USGS)

    The Bad Weather Storms now are Babies compared to what is to come.

    They will get even bigger and worse less Oxygen the more UV Rays to the Earth and more Water molecules will evaporate and go up into the Earth’s
    Atmosphere. Less Oxygen the Colder without sun light and Hotter with it.
    Record cold and record hot temps, highs and lows will now be broke every year.

    The Sky full of more water vapor molecules, more snow in the winter and more Flash Floods in the Summer. All earth will see way more fires and the
    Deserts are growing larger and have been for the last 75+ years.
    The water Springs in the desert that once made the place a oasis to support life are long gone.

    Satan’s Sin City “Las Vegas” very soon to die like a fish out of water.

    The Governor of California Jerry Brown has declared a State Of Emergency due to the driest DROUGHT in California’s history. Friday January 17, 2014

    Lake Mead at record low and soon will not be able to make electric power.
    UK most rain in 300 years Flooding February 2014.
    Middle East dryest in 1,000 years 2009 – 2014
    (” If every living person on Earth were to Plant A Tree Today we might have a chance.”)

    FOR A SHORT TIME ALL THE MILITARY ON ALL SIDES PUT DOWN THEIR WEAPONS AND PLANTED TREES
    IN PAKISTAN MORE THEN A MILLION TREES IN A DAY, and they did this for days.

    NOW WHY CAN WE NOT DO THIS WORLD WIDE?

    Maybe the UN and leaders on this planet are just a little more than show in the head.
    OUR Planets Atmosphere needs Oxygen with the decline of it the world’s health will decline, as like some of the not so smart gov payed Scientist.
    Some that will do or say anything for $$$$$.

    Once the days start getting shorter the cooler it will get and longer days warmer, most all fifth graders and every framer on Earth knows this.
    IF they had know better and had a brain like a Scientist to go with the tidal of one they carry they would have known, that the Sea Ice is going
    to grow at a Record Pace with Shorter Days. Just as with longer days the summers are going to brake all records each and every year that OUR
    Planets Atmosphere Oxygen declines.

    Mid Summer Days hot as Hell, Winter Nights POLAR BEAR WEATHER. Stronger winds wind chills -0 and below the new normal for winter.

    (“EXPEDITIONS on ships into ice seas many have been done most all know it is safer and wiser to do it as the days are getting longer not as a
    fool when the days are getting shorter. You risk yours and the life’s of others that will come to rescue you.

    World Leaders and your Scientist be Smart open your eyes most all on Earth can see and want to hear the TRUTH from its leaders.
    Stop running your vessel Afoul. If you follow a true course the spirit that gives your heart its life will give you great wisdom and strength
    and power to resist the wicked.”)

    Scientist are you afraid of losing that fat pay check, or think that the wicked will end your work like NOBLE BRAVEHEARTED Scientist Dr. Katharine Giles.
    Everyone that the wicked think they have stopped its work 100 will replace that NOBLE BRAVEHEARTED one.

    By your work shall ye be judged do good help others and always seek and tell the TRUTH.
    Every soul will be filled with great fear that don’t help others and don’t seek the truth and our LORD, JUDGEMENT DAY.

    The Earth’s Atmosphere Blanket surrounding it protects life on Earth as Our Lord and GOD will all that seek Him.

    Then it is written WHEN THE TREE IS FULL IT IS HARVEST TIME. All the Earth will someday burn away.
    This is all Foretold in the Bible Read it
    and may our Lord Bless all that do so.
    Daniel 12 : 1 – 3

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott
    solardowork@yahoo.com
    KI4-AEX

    P.S.
    2 Peter 3:10
    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with
    intense heat, and the Earth and its works will be burned up.

    GOD Bless You and Your Love ones
    Give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ every day.
    Read
    Luke 21:20-22
    Matthew 24: 30-33

    Solar Energy the way to go.
    Many States and Countries Are and are Banning Fracking.

    SAFE DRINKING WATER RUNNING OUT FASTER THEN YOU THINK WORLD WIDE.

    Hydraulic Fracturing a Danger to us All.

    Archimedes and Albert Einstein
    These two are at the top of the list of the World’s Greatest Scientists,
    Viewed by Scientist around the World.

    Sad that for the last 25 years or so of every teacher asked no matter what
    Grade k through 16. At least 80% of them did not know Archimedes. Even sadder 90% of them could not tell you what one of the most
    Brilliant Scientist to ever live on Earth. Won the Nobel Prize for.

    It was for the work Albert Einstein did to show the World it could get
    Free Energy, Electric from the SUN. (THE PHOTOVOLTAIC EFFECT).
    We still do not Teach this to are young Why?

    Churches all over earth are Going Solar why not are schools?

    In many cities and more added every day there are more (EV’s) Electric Vehicles Charging Stations than gasoline, the UK was one of the first.
    Wicked Leaders and many that are in the Dark and Lost wake up it will very soon be too late.

    Please go to (Electric Vehicle Charging Station map) Oil CEO’s soon to lose more than their shirt.

    FREE SOLAR ENERGY FROM THE SUN. Why KEEP sending your TAX $$$$$ to the Middle East.

    Canada is next door obama and is one of our Closest Allies. Canada keystone pipeline in January 2012, President Obama put the brakes on and rejected
    the application. We should have done all we could, to have completed the project long ago.
    Sorry obama i forgot Canada did close the wicked Muslin Islamic Republic Den Of Spies And Espionage in Canada and told the Terrorist supporting
    people working in them to leave Canada in less than 5 days or go straight to jail.

    You obama are still trying to send Muslins all the USA tax money you can.

    SOLAR ENERGY
    Why is not every GOV BUILDING IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA COVERED WITH USA BUILT “BUILT IN AMERICA” (PV) SOLAR ENERGY?

    WE WOULD BE SAVING MILLIONS AND PUTTING MILLIONS TO WORK.
    WHY ARE WE STILL SENDING $$$,$$$,$$$,$$$ TO THE Middle East ?
    When there is SOLAR and WIND ENERGY.

    Tesla car owners drive coast to coast FREE from the SUNLIGHT, 2014.

    This is not the Roman Empire (Taxes Kill Growth) Lower all taxes and America will grow and FLOURISH without OUR
    White House SATAN DICTATORSHIP AND CONTROL on US.

    There is enough Energy coming from our SUN to power all are needs on Earth and then some.
    Albert Einstein 1907

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