Today was the last of 40 days of testing required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to ensure the water is safe to drink.
All preliminary tests show the recycled water is safe to drink. Officials at the Cypress Treatment Plant say so far the project has had very few glitches.
Mark Southard, water source and purification superintendent says of the tests, "Tests that are actually being performed every 5 minutes, every 15 minutes. We've got tests we collect every 2 hours, 4 hours daily, then we've got twice weekly, weekly, and then tests that were collect at the start of the process and the middle and the end of the process."
And although results from the final day of tests won't be back for about a week, all the previous results are coming back clean.
"Things are looking very good. We've been very encouraged with the results we've received from the 1st two major sample periods during this testing protocol," Southard says.
Once the results are in, Cypress Treatment Plant officials will add those to their data packet and send it off to the TCEQ, which will have up to 30 days for review.
If they say the water is safe, then officials will take 7 and a half million gallons of the water that gets flushed down toilets and washed down drains to the River Road Waste Water Plant, then pump it back to the Cypress Water Treatment Plant. That water will go through 4 treatment process, turning it into 5 million gallons of recycled water, blending it with 5 million gallons of water from Lake Arrowhead and Kickapoo for a total of ten million gallons coming from the treatment plant to faucets.
Right now the expected date for adding the recycled water back into the system is May first. Of course, it all depends on the TCEQ's approval.
If you buy water from the treatment plant for watering, Southard says that could be limited or cut off when the city starts using the resuse water.
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