NewsWest 9 Takes a Closer Look Into MC's Water Reclamation Plant

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - For Midland College, the battle between a green, lush look on campus and the reality of this drought rages on every day.

"It's kind of a wake up call to deal with it," Midland College Vice President of Information Technology and Facilities, Dennis Sever, said.

So after a study was conducted back in 2004, the City of Midland and Midland College agreed to enter a partnership to place a water reclamation plant just outside the school to recycle water.

At the moment, the college's water tank and transmission lines are in place ready to be hooked up to the plant's lines once it's built.

The plant will be connected to the city's sewers and purify and recycle the waste water to be used for MC's outdoor irrigation.

It's a project to try to take the water strain off the city's supply.

"It's always been done with city water, so, obviously we want to alleviate that use, which is a huge investment by the community," Sever said. "We've got over 1300 trees, nearly 1400, and we don't want to see those die. We've got acres and acres of grass that we don't want to see turn into dust."

With the plant in place, the more than a million gallons of water MC uses every week to water their campus will be taken off the city's grid with that much more water freed up for the rest of Midland.

Just to irrigate water on campus, MC's half-a-million gallon tank generates a maximum of 700 gallons of water every minute for two days a week, 32 hours a week.

That comes out to 1.3 million gallons a week and city officials are hoping that a new water reclamation plant will take that much strain off the water grid.

Interviews back in July with Midland Utilities Director Stuart Purvis detailed how construction on the plant will begin this November and is set to take 18 months to be finished in the summer of 2013.

The total cost of the project is not known at this time but Midland College has already invested $1 million in the project.

MC officials said right now they're waiting on word from the city, saying they're currently applying for permission for the plant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"I would much rather have water to take a shower in than have nice, green, lush grass at Midland College, so we understand that part," Sever said. "With the reclamation plant in use, we would be using water that's already been used and reused, recycling it to help keep the campus attractive."