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This article originally appeared in the Authority’s August/September 2013 newsletter
CRWS CELEBRATES A WASTEWATER TREATMENT MILESTONE
The Trinity River Authority’s Central Regional Wastewater System celebrated a momentous achievement on Sept. 19 when General Manager Kevin Ward announced that CRWS had treated and discharged one trillion gallons of wastewater during a 21-year period without any permit violations. “This is a celebration that we all have been anticipating, and we believe that CRWS is the first sanitary sewer system to have achieved this major milestone, which is a tremendous accomplishment in our industry,” said Ward.
Among the more than 100 attendees were representatives from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the cities of Arlington, Euless and Grapevine and TRA staff members. Also in attendance were Directors Ronald J. Goldman, at large, Tarrant County; James W. Neale, Dallas County; Amir A. Rupani, at large, Dallas County and Kim C. Wyatt, Navarro County.
TRA Board President Harold L. Barnard shared his thoughts with the guests. “I have had the privilege to see firsthand the dedication and pride that TRA employees apply to what they do. An accomplishment of this magnitude can’t happen without a strong work ethic, planning and leadership,” said Barnard. “I know that the staff here will not rest on their laurels. They will continue to work toward the next trillion gallons. I am honored to have this opportunity to personally commend and congratulate everyone who helped make this day a reality. Keep up the great work!”
Ward added that the celebration highlights TRA’s commitment to continuously work toward maintaining and improving the water quality in the Trinity River. “We rely on what we learn, what we know and the new technologies and innovations that will help us to continue our clean water services now and for decades to come,” stated Ward.
Julie Hunt, Northern Region assistant manager of operations, acknowledged the challenges inherent in operating a plant the size of CRWS while applauding the committed team of planners, operators and responders for the work that they do every day. “I also would like to thank the men and women who came before us whose contributions helped make this day possible,” added Hunt.
CRWS Project Manager Bill Tatum provided his perspective on the achievement. “Back in 1959, CRWS was designed to treat 30 million gallons per day as a trickling filter, oxidation wastewater facility. Today, the plant can treat monthly average flows of 162 million gallons per day,” said Tatum.
“Our processes remove greater than 99.9 percent of all conventional pollutants from this wastewater before it is sent on its way down the Trinity,” remarked Tatum. He added that from start to finish it takes approximately 12 hours, beginning from the time the waste leaves the homes across our service area, makes it to the plant and goes through more than 200 miles of collection system pipeline.
“It took 21 years to reach the trillion-gallon mark without any permit violations, and I have been here for all of them!” exclaimed Tatum.
To highlight the difference between the wastewater that comes into the treatment plant and the treated effluent that is discharged to the Trinity River, Tatum held up a pitcher of brownish water and a pitcher of clear effluent. He closed out his remarks by raising a glass filled with the effluent and toasting the men and women at CRWS and across the TRA system who helped make the celebration possible.
When CRWS began operations in December 1959, it was the first regional facility of its kind. It served Irving, Grand Prairie, Farmers Branch, and a portion of western Dallas. Today the system serves all or part of 21 contracting parties and approximately 1.2 million people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.