Brownsville Public Utilities Board - Texas Commission on ...

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Brownsville Public Utilities Board - Texas Commission on ...

Primary Water Source

Rio Grande

The Rio Grande is a river that flows from

southwestern Colorado in the United

States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the

way it forms part of the Mexico–United

States border.


Primary Water Source: Issues

• Variable flows (high/low)

• Invasive aquatic plant species

• Water quality conditions

• Fluctuating suspended and fine particles (muddy)

• Total dissolved solids (dissolved minerals, salts)

• Nutrient levels and sulfates

• Algae and bacteria

• International boundary – watershed

management is complicated


Water Supply: Management

• TCEQ Watermaster Program

• Municipal Water Rights

• 29,285 acre-feet

• 7 day advance order for travel time

• Permit 1838 (Surplus water)

• 40,000 acre-feet

• Intermittently available, depending on

river flows

• Maintain resaca levels


Rio Grande at ong>Brownsvilleong> High Flows

October 10, 2008

July 26, 2010


Rio Grande at ong>Brownsvilleong> Low Flows


Off-Channel Reservoirs


River Intake and Pump Stations


Water Reservoirs

• Short-term storage

• Reservoir 1 - 36 MG

• Reservoir 2 - 95 MG

• Combined

operating capacity:

5 to 6 days


Resaca Restoration


What are Resacas?

• Isolated

distributaries of the

Rio Grande

• Natural flow has

been cut off

• Today water must

be pumped into the

resacas to maintain

water levels


Why are Resacas Important?

• Adjacent landowners

• Community benefits:

• Stormwater storage capacity (drainage benefits)

• Raw water storage capacity

• Habitat for bird/wildlife species


Why are Resacas Important?

Resaca de la Palma State Park

• Improved aesthetics

• Attractive park

areas

• Opportunities for

recreation & ecotourism

• Economic

development

potential

Dean Porter Park


ong>Brownsvilleong> Resacas


Elements of Restoration Project

• Dredging

• Restore original

resaca profiles

depth

• Erosion

control/stabilization

• Re-vegetation

• Beautification

• Habitat restoration

• Education/communit

y awareness

• Create potential for

public amenities

Gentle

pond side

slopes for

safety

Organic

muck

or peat

Woody

trees and

shrubs

Emergent

plants

Rooted

surface

plants

Pond soil

substrate

Impervious layer

Submergent plants


Dean Porter Park Resaca Cross-Section


Why is Resaca Restoration Needed?

Estimated removal of

approximately 100,000

cubic yards in 4 pilot sites


Dean Porter/Town Resaca


Surface Water Treatment

• 2conventional treatment plants (20 MGD each)

• Chemical coagulation/sedimentation and filtration

processes

• Provide 75% of tap water to ong>Brownsvilleong>

• Meet drinking water standards

• Taste and odor-related to decaying vegetation

and microbiota (dissolved organics)

• T&O Treatment: powdered activated carbon,

chlorine dioxide


Surface Water Treatment


Source vs. Tap Water


Diversification

Long-Term Water Supply Strategy

• Surface Water

• Purchase water rights

• Increase storage capacity in

resacas

• Brackish Groundwater

Desalination

• Southmost Regional Water

Authority RO Treatment Facility

• Seawater Desalination

• Pilot plant

ong>Texasong> desal project – proactively

• Identify environmental concerns

• Future demonstration project


Southmost Regional Water Authority

BPUB

City of Los

Fresnos

Valley

Municipal

ong>Utilitiesong>

District No. 2

Town of

Indian Lake

ong>Brownsvilleong>

Navigation

District


Southmost Regional Water Project


Brackish Groundwater Desalination

• SRWA RO Treatment

Facility

• Construction

completed in 2004

• 20 brackish

groundwater wells

• Reverse osmosis

membrane technology

• 7.5 MGD capacity

• Future microfiltration

project and expansion

funded by DWSRF


‘06-’08 Lower Rio Grande Regional

Seawater Desalination Pilot Study

BPUB

TCEQ

Port of

ong>Brownsvilleong>

NRS


Project Results

• Confirmed seawater

desal is technically

feasible

• Demonstrated

performance of

various treatment

technologies

• Identified operating

challenges

• Ship channel –

extreme raw water

variability


Proposed Demonstration

1. Develop a 2 to 3 MGD

SWRO project on the

ong>Brownsvilleong> Ship

Channel

2. Integrated

renewable/sustainable

energy

3. Integrated research

capability


Upcoming Water Projects

• Filter Rehabilitation Project

• Surface water treatment plants

• Resaca Restoration

• Provide additional capacity for offchannel

water storage

• SRWA Microfiltration and Expansion

Project


Judy K. Adams

Water Treatment Manager

ong>Brownsvilleong> ong>Publicong> ong>Utilitiesong> ong>Boardong>

(956) 983-6688

JAdams@brownsville-pub.com

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