A close look at water reuse

A close look at water reuse
Posted on 09/13/2018
A “Pure Water” team member sets up the trailer for tour at the WateReuse Symposium in Austin, Texas in September of 2018.

What’s better than cold, fresh drinking water on a hot day? How about water brought to you by a futuristic water treatment facility on wheels?

The award winning “Pure Water” advanced water purification trailer, developed by a team from Arizona, will make a one-day stop at TecH2O on Sept. 15 during the free Science Saturday event. The trailer showcases water reuse technology that holds solutions to water supply challenges in arid communities. The treatment process – similar to EPWater’s planned Advanced Water Purification Facility – transforms treated wastewater into purified drinking water. Free bottles of purified water produced by the trailer will be given to attendees while supplies last.

Once complete, EPWater’s Advanced Water Purification Facility will provide El Paso with a safe, reliable and drought proof supply of up to 10 million gallons per day. EPWater Communications Manager Christina Montoya says that hundreds of El Pasoans had the opportunity to tour the pilot facility in 2015-16 and appreciated seeing first-hand the robust purification process. This weekend’s trailer, she said, offers another close-up demonstration and a rare window into advanced purification.

“We surveyed visitors before and after tours of the pilot facility to get their thoughts on the process. Many visitors who showed up were open to the idea of converting wastewater directly into drinking water, but we also had some skeptics. By the end of the tour, nearly all were convinced of the benefits and became strong project supporters,” Montoya said.

Corin Marron, a Carollo senior engineer who works on EPWater’s Advanced Water Purification Facility and helped design the trailer, agreed that hands-on education helps grow confidence in the five-step purification process. The award-winning trailer first toured Arizona as part of a campaign to increase public support for water recycling, but demand has also taken the trailer to events in Texas.

“Purified water is an inherently sustainable, drought-proof source of water. It doesn’t create an additional strain on aquifers,” Marron said. “All water is reused. We’re just speeding up Mother Nature’s process.”

EPWater shared results of the pilot facility with state regulators in 2016 and gained their approval to move forward. Design of the full-scale facility is now underway.

The “Pure Water” trailer will be featured on Saturday, Sept. 15 during the Science Saturday event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the TecH2O Center – 10751 Montana Avenue. The free event will also offer more than 30 demonstration booths with science experiments and hands-on activities. A lecture from noon to 1 p.m. will provide valuable guidance for parents and students on how to master science fair projects.

For additional information, contact the TecH2O Center at 915-621-2001 or at the TecH2O website.

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