Plans are now in the works for the construction of an advanced water purification facility in El Paso that will belong to the city’s El Paso Water Utilities.
Exactly $3.5 million is coming from the federal Bureau of Reclamation for the construction of a system treating wastewater for later potable reuse.
What is being described as the first large-scale, potable reuse project in the country will, upon completion, annually produce 4.2 billion gallons, or 13,000 acre-feet, of potable water.
The funding is part of a significantly larger $16.9 million in grant support announced by the Bureau of Reclamation for projects that will also soon be underway in California and Hawaii.
The projects are officially defined as Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects.
In a statement, Brenda Burman, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner, said the Title XVI program has been successful in “helping communities to look beyond traditional surface or groundwater sources.”
Burman added that the Title XVI initiative “allows communities to diversify their water supply—exploring water reuse, recycling, and other techniques while improving efficiency and flexibility during water shortages.”
El Paso Water has long been interested in the possibilities of potable water reuse. In 2015 it gave the go-ahead to launching a pilot plant project at the Roberto Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant designed to recycle 10 million gallons per day.
By Garry Boulard
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