Fort Worth, Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and Martha Leonard have agreed to terms that allow Fort Worth to obtain a discharge permit for the planned Mary’s Creek Water Reclamation Facility.
The terms are a result of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) mediated discussions that paralleled the contested case hearing process. Fort Worth has agreed to more stringent treatment requirements to further protect water quality.
Leonard, who is a downstream, private landowner on the banks of Mary’s Creek, said, “I am very pleased and proud of the city and TRWD for coming to a mutual agreement with a plan that both increases water supply and protects water quality for all its citizens and customers. It is encouraging to see mediation successful.”
The TRWD Board of Directors will consider approving the settlement at its meeting on Tuesday. The Fort Worth City Council is expected to act at its May 24 meeting.
As part of the agreement, TRWD will permit, design and construct a project to divert flows from the Mary’s Creek channel downstream of Fort Worth’s facility to the existing TRWD water supply system. There the water will be blended with water from other TRWD lakes.
This type of reclamation project is an efficient use of water resources that keeps more water where it is most needed. The project is among the lowest cost water supply alternatives available to the district – a benefit for all of TRWD’s customer base, including Fort Worth.
“The settlement is a win-win solution that protects water quality, allows efficient use of water resources, and allows Fort Worth to move forward with the Mary’s Creek facility to support growth in the area,” said Rachel Ickert, TRWD chief water resources officer.
Fort Worth also can pursue direct non-potable use of the water for retail industrial and irrigation customers in the future. Direct reclaimed water to customers in west Fort Worth is another cost effective water supply strategy and is in the State Water Plan.
“This agreement allows Fort Worth to move forward with the design of this much needed advanced treatment facility that will be protective of the environment. At the same time, it provides both a direct and indirect reuse water supply that both Fort Worth and TRWD can use to support future growth in a financially prudent manner,” said Chris Harder, Fort Worth water director.
Starting the work to design and construct the Mary’s Creek facility is critical because proposed developments in Fort Worth will exceed the capacity of wastewater collection lines in the future. Accordingly, Fort Worth will initiate the design process as soon as it receives a discharge permit from TCEQ.