Upper Trinity Regional Water District’s (“Upper Trinity”) Riverbend Water Reclamation Plant, located in northeast Denton County, is being recognized nationally for its innovative treatment technology utilizing a magnetite ballasted activated sludge process.
The National Environmental Achievement Award will be presented to Upper Trinity by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) at a ceremony on Feb. 5 in Atlanta.
“The ballasted activated sludge process was added during the most recent expansion of the Riverbend Plant,” said Larry Patterson, Upper Trinity’s executive director. “As population continues to increase in our service area, this new treatment process will allow Upper Trinity more operational flexibility and improve reliability in treating the increased wastewater flow.”
The ballasted activated sludge process infuses magnetite, or fine particles of iron ore, into conventional biological floc particles, to make them heavier, which accelerates the clarification process. The magnetite is then separated from the waste-activated sludge – up to 95 percent of the magnetite is recovered and reused in the wastewater treatment process.
Overall, this innovative treatment technology helps increase treatment capacity and meet stringent wastewater discharge permit limits.
“The Riverbend Plant is the first water reclamation facility in Texas to include the magnetite activated sludge process,” Patterson said. “Upper Trinity strives to keep up with the latest treatment technology – especially when it helps to reduce cost, and improves the overall operations of the District’s treatment plants.”
This is Upper Trinity’s first time to receive NACWA’s Operations & Environmental Performance Award. NACWA is a leading advocate for national policies that advance clean water and a healthy environment, and is headquartered in Washington D.C.
Upper Trinity has previously been recognized by NACWA for its regional watershed protection program, the Denton County Greenbelt Plan, and perfect compliance with state and federal permit standards for treated effluent at all of its water reclamation facilities.
Upper Trinity is a regional water district created by the Texas Legislature in 1989 for the benefit of cities and utilities in the Denton County area.
Its mandate is to develop regional plans for water services, and to provide both water and wastewater services on a wholesale basis to cities and utilities within its service area, including all of Denton County and portions of Dallas and Collin Counties.
Upper Trinity is a leader in public education regarding water conservation and water quality protection, and regularly conducts programs concerning drought tolerant landscape techniques, landscape practices and more efficient water use.