SAWS Chief Operating Officer Steve Clouse provides an overview of the utility's recycled water program, including its history, current status and potential for future expansion, Aug. 2, 2016.
Wastewater was once considered something best quickly disposed of. But in San Antonio we have learned to turn wastewater into valuable resources. We call it our environmental "trifecta" of recycled water, organic biosolids and methane gas.
San Antonio is the only U.S. city to reuse all three wastewater treatment process byproducts.
Recycled water is used locally in battery manufacturing.
San Antonio boasts the largest direct recycled water delivery system in the nation.
More than 130 miles of pipeline delivers high-quality recycled water for use by golf courses, parks, commercial and industrial customers, as well as San Antonio's famous River Walk.
Biosolids, another byproduct of treating wastewater, are used in generating compost for improving soil quality in landscaping and gardening. The compost is sold commercially through local retailers and nurseries under the brand name of New Earth Landscapers Compost.
Biogas (mostly composed of methane) generated during the treatment process is the newest addition to our environmental trifecta.
Biogas is refined and compressed for the open market.
SAWS has partnered with Ameresco, Inc. – a national energy company focusing on renewable energy – to treat and transfer at least 900,000 cubic feet of gas per day to a nearby commercial pipeline to sell on the open market, making San Antonio the first city to utilize biogas in this unique renewable energy strategy.
Harnessing these valuable byproducts of the wastewater treatment process is beneficial for the environment – another demonstration of SAWS mission of providing sustainable, affordable water services.
After the Flush
We all do it every day. We don't like to talk about it. We don't like to see it. And we certainly don't like to smell it. In this video, Roland Gutierrez takes you through the water recycling process that transforms gross wastewater into three valuable resources.