The existing medians, school fields, parks, and neighborhood landscaped areas in the Town of Little Elm, Texas used potable water for irrigation purposes. Located in an area prone to drought conditions, the community embarked on the development of a Water Conservation, Drought Contingency, and Water Emergency Response Plan with the goal of making the most efficient use of existing supplies to delay the need for expensive new water supply developments. With a key component of the Town’s strategy being to use reclaimed water where applicable, the Town developed a plan to use recycled effluent from its local wastewater treatment plant for landscape irrigation.
To assist the Town with executing its plan, TRC was retained to perform various civil planning and engineering design tasks to convert the existing irrigation system so that it could use reclaimed water. TRC coordinated the permitting requirements with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality while designing the water reuse main, irrigation piping, and vertical turbine pump at the outfall of the local wastewater treatment plant which discharges into nearby Lewisville Lake. Design tasks included an analysis of the existing irrigation system, pump selection, flow measurement, and electrical system modifications.
By using treated effluent from the nearby wastewater treatment plant, the community was able to reduce its demand for water withdrawal in an area that is historically subject to drought. Using recycled water also lessened the amount of treated wastewater that was being discharged to Lewisville Lake while simultaneously saving money by eliminating the need to purchase potable water that must be extracted, pumped, treated, and transported. This project also allowed the Town of Little Elm to support the objectives of its Conservation, Drought Contingency, and Water Emergency Response Plan.