4-A Board Approves Over One Million Dollars to Help PPG Conserve Water

With Wichita Falls just a few hours from the stage 4 water restrictions, help with water to keep one of Wichita Falls' largest employers in operation may soon be on the way.     

A $1.6 million project to provide reclaimed water for the PPG plant got approval at the 4-A Economic Development corporation board Friday.

PPG is the second largest user of water in Wichita Falls, and the project will allow them to use recycled water they need in their glass cooling process.

Anyone who pays sales tax in Wichita Falls may soon be helping PPG save over 200,000 gallons of water day.

Under the plan the city will put in just over a million dollars to build a pipeline from the Northside Effluent Pump Station to PPG on I-44.

PPG will pay the estimated $600,000 to connect the pipeline when it reaches the plant.

City officials say if the city wants to keep and attract large manufacturers these kind of projects are essential.

“Water is essential to our processes, we've done a number of conservation projects, there's really nothing more we can save at this point,” says Mike Derr, PPG Plant Manager.

The pipe will let PPG use effluent water from the pump station instead of potable water, water which would otherwise go down the Wichita River.

And by spending a little extra money on the pipeline, the project could help other businesses in the future.

“We're going to build a little bit of expansion room in there we know that at some point we could get some additional flow in that plant, there is a lot of room for development out there,” says Wichita Falls Public Works Director,  Russell Schreiber.

Even though the city is putting up most of the money, it will also lose about $75,000 a year from potable water sales to PPG.

But officials say, right now saving money is not as important as saving water.

“There is also the value of that 200, 000 gallons per day of water that we actually save, we really haven't put a value on that,” says Schreiber.

If the city council gives final approval, the PPG water reuse project is expected to be finished next summer.

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