TRWD’s George W. Shannon Wetlands Water Reuse Project was the first of its kind in the United States, and will soon become a functional water supply alternative for the district’s rapidly growing service area. The water district currently provides raw water to more than 1.8 million people in 11 counties. But that number is expected to increase to 4.3 million by 2060. This project will help the district meet those demands and push back the need to construct additional water supply reservoirs.
Located on Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area on the Navarro-Freestone County line, the system consists of a series of sedimentation ponds and wetland cells that naturally treat water diverted from the Trinity River and put it back into Richland-Chambers Reservoir for future use. A similar project will be built at Cedar Creek Reservoir in the near future.
In 2008, an additional 200 acres of wetland cells were added to the existing 250-acre field scale wetlands project that began in 2002. The original pilot scale project began in 1992. TRWD’s wetlands projects will eventually feature nearly 3,000 acres of high quality habitat that can be used as a living filter for additional water supplies. Operation of the wetland system is closely coordinated with Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists to maximize the wildlife benefits that a project of this nature can provide.