|Table of Contents||Section 9 - Water and Wastewater Treatment Needs|
9.1 Water and Wastewater Treatment Survey
A survey of water and wastewater providers, local and regional governments, and industrial water users was conducted to define various issues pertinent to the provision of water in the basin. Each group received a survey designed to assess their specific conditions and needs. The surveys investigated the amount and source of current water supply, projected needs and the sources proposed to meet future needs. Information was also gathered on treatment facilities, planned expansions of service areas, water supply facilities or treatment plants, and conservation and drought management planning in the basin.
Approximately half of the surveys were completed and returned. The information obtained from these surveys was compiled and verified through meetings with the major water suppliers and wastewater providers (those that have an average flow of more than 5 million gallons per day). A list of these entities is presented in the Table 9.1.
9.2 Septic Systems
Much of the basin’s population is rural and is on septic systems. From the current water quality monitoring data, it appears that fecal coliform contamination due to septic systems is a problem within the basin. This should continually be monitored as part of the basin’s source water protection program. TNRCC is currently performing studies that will result in better methods of detecting contamination from septic systems. In addition, there is new technology that can be used to pinpoint the contamination. It is an instrument that uses fluorescent lighting to detect household detergents leached out of a septic system. This can be very effective in identifying septic system problem areas.
The results of the water and wastewater survey identified several areas that could be improved, particularly with regard to expanding local technical expertise on water supply, treatment, and quality issues. The following recommendations focus on expanding local entity understanding and awareness of regulatory matters that impact water supply, quality or management in the Sabine Basin.
- Provide recommendations on treatment options to help small water supply entities comply with regulations.
- Host and/or facilitate any available TWDB and TNRCC seminars or workshops regarding water or wastewater treatment. Hold these seminars at the SRA local offices in both the Upper and Lower basin and encourage local water and wastewater providers to attend.
- Facilitate the TNRCC plant optimization program within the basin. This plant optimization program allows plant operators to visit other plants and learn new processes and also gives entities the opportunity to have outside operators come into their own plant to help optimize the treatment processes within the plant.
- Train entities within the Sabine Basin that collect water quality data in approved data collection and analysis methods so that this information can be used in the Clean Rivers Program and SRA’s Information System database. Currently much of the data cannot be integrated into the Clean Rivers Program or into the Information System database because the data is not obtained using standard, EPA-approved data analysis methods.
- Host and/or facilitate TWDB drought management and contingency planning seminars to assist all of the water suppliers in the region with their plans.