FORT WORTH — Construction will begin in February on a long-planned pipeline that will ship recycled wastewater to golf courses and other users thanks to a $22 million grant from the federal stimulus program.
Fort Worth has been planning to build the system for several years but never had the funding. The line will run about nine miles, from the Village Creek Wastewater plant in east Fort Worth to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. It should be operational by the end of 2010.
The water is basically sewage that has been treated so it's safe for some uses, like irrigation or cooling air-conditioning systems. It's far cheaper to treat water to that level than to drinkable standards.
The water could be used for golf courses in Arlington and Euless, for cooling towers or to fracture natural gas wells at D/FW.
"Recycled water is pretty much going to be part of our water system," Water Director Frank Crumb said during a recent presentation to the City Council's infrastructure committee.
In a separate system, Hillwood Development has formed a company, Independence Water, to sell recycled water for landscaping and other uses around Alliance Airport. Plans call for Independence to buy treated wastewater from the Trinity River Authority's treatment plant in southeast Denton County. Hillwood developed Alliance Airport and many of the Fort Worth neighborhoods in far north Tarrant County and southern Denton County. Negotiations continue, but the plans call for the recycled water to be piped to Alliance for landscaping, industrial use and natural gas drilling, Hillwood Senior Vice President Russell Laughlin told the City Council recently.
Laughlin said it makes sense from a business perspective — it's becoming more likely that drinking water will be rationed during a drought. Having a drought-proof source of water would prevent disruptions.
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