Tarrant Regional Water District George W. Shannon Wetlands Water Reuse Project

CLIENT NAME

Tarrant Regional Water District

LOCATION

Streetman, Texas
United States

PRACTICE AREA

Constructed Wetlands
Water Reuse

SERVICES INCLUDED

Monitoring

Sampling

Data Analysis

Pilot-Scale Wetland 

Design

Construction Management

Environmental

Project Gallery

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Plummer teamed with Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and partnered with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) on a unique water reuse project using natural systems—the first of its kind in the country. The Wetlands Water Reuse project is a collaborative effort that augments TRWD’s water supply while enhancing the wildlife habitat. This project diverts Trinity River water, which can be dominated by highly-treated wastewater return flows, into a 2,022-acre constructed wetland for removal of nutrients and suspended solids, then pumps the wetland-polished water into Richland-Chambers Reservoir to provide additional raw water supply. The project is designed to treat an average 91 million gallons per day and can produce up to an additional 63,000 acre-feet of water per year.

Plummer assisted TRWD throughout the life of this multi-phase project, starting with the pilot wetland, followed by a field-scale wetland, and extending through the Phase I and Phase II expansions to the full-scale wetland. In the early 1990’s TRWD began with a 2.5-acre pilot scale wetland to prove the concept of using a wetland to treat Trinity River water. Plummer provided design services for the pilot project and evaluated treatment performance.  Services included extensive monitoring, sampling, and data analysis to determine flow balances and mass balances for carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, solids, and other constituents. Special research was performed to evaluate vegetative cover establishment using native seedbank versus planting of selected wetland plant species. Monitoring and performance evaluation of the pilot-scale system operations was continued for eight years.

Based on the pilot-scale wetland study, TRWD contracted with Plummer to design and oversee construction of a 243-acre field-scale wetland located in TPWD’s Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area. The field-scale system included a river pump station and force main to convey the diverted water to the wetland. The purpose of the field-scale project was to verify the results of the pilot-scale project, test large-scale design criteria, and to ensure that no unforeseen problems arose due to the increased size of the system. The field-scale system began operation in 2002 and provided valuable data and experience for subsequent phases of the project. During its operation, Plummer monitored vegetation growth and analyzed water quality data to verify treatment performance.

The data developed during the pilot and field-scale studies were used to refine design criteria for the full build-out of the George W. Shannon Wetlands Water Reuse Project at Richland-Chambers Reservoir and for a future sister project at Cedar Creek Reservoir. Based on favorable results achieved from the field-scale wetland project, TRWD authorized Plummer to design another 190-acre wetland train as part of the Phase I expansion. The Phase I expansion also included a pump station to convey the wetland-polished water to the reservoir. Construction of this train was completed, including planting of wetland vegetation. Plummer was responsible for the construction management of the entire wetland site. 

The Phase II expansion, completed in late 2013 and delivered via Construction Manager-at-Risk (CMAR), included the remaining wetlands acreage, three large sedimentation basins, an additional 60-inch diameter force main spanning 6,000 linear feet, and additional pumps at the river and relift pump stations to increase the pumping capacity to 92 million gallons per day. Plummer provided design and construction phase services for all improvements except the river and relift pump station upgrades. Plummer also prepared a Project Commissioning Document for the project and assisted with the project after start-up.

Because this project is located within the Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area, Plummer and TRWD have worked with TPWD throughout the design process to ensure that the project is mutually beneficial and will meet the goals of both entities. 

This trailblazing reuse project received the following awards: 

  • 2015 National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP), National Environmental Excellence Award – Environmental Management
  • 2014 Engineering News Record (ENR) Best of the Best Projects in the Country – Water/Environment
  • 2014 Engineering News Record (ENR) Texas & Louisiana Best Regional Project – Water/Environment
  • 2009 WateReuse Association, Large Project of the Year
  • 2004 ACEC Engineering Excellence Grand Award Winner

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