North Central Texas is one of many drought-prone regions in the U.S. Fortunately, a partnership between two Texas cities and a packaging and hygiene solutions company helps conserve water in this region — and it shows how public-private partnerships can help towns fight water scarcity.
Sealed Air’s plant in Iowa Park, Texas, linked up with local municipalities — including Iowa Park and Wichita Falls — on a water reuse project that will conserve 18 million to 20 million gallons of drinking water annually. Instead of using potable water in its chiller process, the plant is now equipped to use recycled effluent water from Iowa Park’s wastewater treatment plant.
The project was jointly funded by Sealed Air, Iowa Park’s Economic Development Corp. and Community Development Corp., and the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corp. The partners completed a water pipeline in 2015 to allow free flow of water between the manufacturing site and the water treatment plant. The city of Iowa Park installed equipment to treat and filter the effluent water, in addition to constructing the pipeline.
For those who aren’t familiar with the term and may be prone to an ick factor, effluent water has multiple safe and hygienic uses that can save money and reduce water stress. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation calls effluent water “a drought-proof water source that can be achieved at a lower lifecycle cost than that of developing a new water supply option while delivering environmental co-benefits.”