The Killeen City Council discussed its plans to use graywater — used for watering plants — to irrigate the city’s golf course, and officials hope to pull the trigger on the plan soon.
Scott Osburn, deputy city attorney for public works, said the purpose of the project is, in essence, authorization from the state for a wastewater treatment plant to directly and beneficially use treated effluent for purposes of irrigation or industrial cooling water.
Osburn said the first step in the process to completing the project is to reach an agreement between the city and the water district detailing the outlines of the project for the reuse system.
Estimated cost comparisons for the reusable water project are 18-19 cents per 1,000 gallons for graywater as opposed to 61-62 cents per 1,000 gallons of potable water.
“It’s substantially cheaper to make use of (reusable) water,” Osburn told the council in its Tuesday night workshop meeting.
He said the golf course uses between 400,000 and 500,000 gallons of water per day.
The project will also decrease the city’s water costs and the demand on the Belton Lake treatment facility.
Jerry Atkinson, general manager of Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1, said graywater does go through some treatment. Chlorine is added to the water and it is tested to check for bacteria before the chlorine is removed; then the water is sent down the pipe to irrigate the golf course.
He said the water is safe for contact but it isn’t recommended that it be consumed.
City Manager Glenn Morrison said it is the city’s intent to move forward with the project as quickly as possible.
“We agree it’s a great project and a new opportunity for us,” he said. “The best thing is it puts that treated capacity back into our system.”
Mayor Dan Corbin said every day that the project isn’t moving forward it’s costing the city money.
“Let’s get ready to pull the trigger next week,” Corbin said.
The council is expected to take action at Tuesday’s regular meeting.