Drinking water may come from wastewater

Drinking water may come from wastewater

Unless there is a significant rain, City Water Conservation Manager, Toni Fox, said San Angelo has 12.5 months of water supply left.
Unless there is a significant rain, City Water Conservation Manager, Toni Fox, said San Angelo has 12.5 months of water supply left. During this time of severe drought, city council is looking at a variety of methods to prevent the city from falling into this severe drought stage again.

After the city council meeting this week, San Angelo is officially pursing water potability ... which is taking wastewater and modifying it to drinking water standards.

The Water Utilities Director, Ricky Dickson, said wastewater reuse could provide 6 to 7 M gallons of water per day. That is 1 M gallons of water less than what the Water Treatment Plant is providing now.

"We're going into summer with the lowest lake levels that have ever been seen before around here," said Dickson. "9 M gallons won't make everybody happy; but, we can get by."

City officials are meeting with engineering service Alan Plummer and Associates, Incorporated (APAI) next month to kickoff the survey. After the meeting, it will take 9 months for the results of the survey to be complete

Dickson said this project won't help us now; but, it should provide enough water for the city to survive in the future.

"We don't have anything defined right now and that's kind of what we want to explore," continued Dickson. "We want to know what the new technology is. What options are available for us"

Other cities near San Angelo are also pursuing waste water alternatives.

"I think it's a common thing. People are already doing it there doing it in Big Springs, in Witcha Falls.... is trying to get approval, Abilene is fixing to get approval. TCEQ wouldn't let us do something if it wasn't safe," Dickson said.

Part of the survey will take place here at the Wastewater Treatment Plant... Dickson said he is already interested in learning more about surface water augmentation, which is treating the wastewater after it leaves the plant.

"You know, there's direct potable which... I don't think is even being considered right now even by the TCEQ and there's some surface water augmentation that could pump into one of the area lakes that could bring it back down and treat it like we do our other water at the surface water treatment plant," finished Dickson.
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