Editor’s note: This is the second report in what will be expanded to a three-part series on effluent water re-use projects and their benefit to the city of Graham.

As the city of Graham pursues a permit for a massive water conservation project that seeks to reappropriate the town’s effluent, or wastewater, into an economically viable solution to growing water resource problems, many questions stand out, mainly pertaining to its safety and sanitation.

City Manager Larry Fields is excited about the effluent water project, and sees people’s apprehension toward it as misguided.

“I’m really enthused about our wastewater effluent project,” Fields said. “That’s something that’s been frustrating to me for many years. We’ve always been conscious of our effluent, and it is a wasted resource, but it’s never been cost effective (to pursue an effluent re-use project) until the last couple of years. And now, with the growing cost and importance of water, effluent projects are suddenly much more cost effective than they’ve ever been before.”

Fields said it doesn’t hurt that other cities in the area, including Clyde, Bangs, Seymour, Colorado City, Abilene and Big Spring, have all recently pursued similar effluent projects of their own in the wake of one the worst droughts in Texas history. This means that there is ample data supporting the logistics of effluent water re-use projects. According to Fields, one town stands out as pursuing a cutting-edge vision in terms of the potential of effluent projects.

“The real pioneering project is the city of Brownwood,” he said. “They’re the first one that has bit the bullet and said, ‘We’re going to put our wastewater right back into our treatment system.’ It’s the first city that I know of in the state of Texas that is pursuing completely recycling their wastewater.”

Read the entire story in the Wednesday edition of the Graham Leader.