Desalination plant to produce nearly 4M gallons more in drinking water

NewsCenter 23

POSTED: Monday, July 28, 2014 - 5:29pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 8:39am

A multimillion dollar expansion at the Southmost Regional Water Authority is set to be completed January of 2015.

State legislators made their way to the SRWA to study the desalination process.

It's a process that takes brackish water, and makes it into clean drinking water. In the beginning, the water gets shot through a series of coils that acts like a screen to take out the big sediments.

Ryan Greenfeld, BPUB Spokesman, "The water is shot through there at such force that the water is able to go through that screen and it leaves the salt behind."

From there, the water goes through reverse osmosis filters which turn it into clean drinking water. The total cost of the plant is just over $29 million, this expansion is around $11 million more.

Eddie Lucio Jr., State Senator, "We've become the model operation in the state now. Every time we meet people talk about this particular operation, this plant in Brownsville Texas. We're going to set the core as to what happens in the next legislative session in other parts of the state."

The SRWA can cover up to 40% of the water needs in Brownsville, rather than taking all the water from the Rio Grande River and helps especially in times of drought.

Senator Lucio, "I carried legislation to create this particular plan and this operation 10 years ago, and I'm amazing at what the Brownsville Utilities Board has done."

Currently this process produces around 6 to 6.5 million gallons of fresh water per day. With the new expansion, they should be able to up that number to 11 million gallons of fresh drinking water every day.

The discharged water and sediments can add up to a maximum of 4 million gallons per day, and ultimately ends up in the Brownsville Ship Channel.

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