While water supplies are scarce and aren’t cheap to find in West Texas, many have switched to the toilet-to-faucet technique.
The Big Spring Raw Water Production Facility stepped outside the box and has found a way to bring drinking water to five cities, which include Odessa, Midland, Big Spring, Stanton, and Snyder.
The toilet-to-tap concept was first thought of in 2002 by CRMWD.
With this technique, it is a way to ensure cities with water even though surface water is disappearing.
John Womack, the Systems Operation Manager for CRMWD, commented on the toilet-to-tap water supply:
Mother nature recycles water over and over again … The volume of water on earth does not change, it just changes states and changes location, [and] we’re just expediting the process.
The CRMWD has created a three step process that processes the sewage wastewater that would normally travel into nearby lakes into drinking water.
The first step, micro-filtration, filters out solid remnants in the water down to 1/10th of a micron.
Womack explained the next two steps:
Then we’ll go to the reverse osmosis unit, which actually diffuses water through a cellular membrane at the molecular level and then after those two processes we’ll look at the UV disinfection which [uses] a combination of hydrogen peroxide and UV light … Between all three processes, the water is 99.9% pure and void of any bacteria or viruses.
The facility is recovering about two million gallons of water per day that could be reused.