All of the treated effluent produced by the four wastewater treatment plants is currently being discharged to the same water body, the Laguna Madre. A very small amount of these plants’ effluent has been utilized for irrigation of the treatment plants grounds and for irrigation of local highway medians. However, back in the 90’s a reuse study was conducted that identified the potential customers that are currently using potable water for their irrigation needs. The main concern for some of these customers is the initial cost for further treatment.
In 2010, the Laguna Madre Water District had the opportunity to submit an application to the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to participate in a WaterSmart (Sustain and manage America’s Resources for tomorrows program. The BOR is making available cost-shared funding on a competitive basis for pilot and demonstration projects that will accelerate the adoption and use of advanced water treatment (AWT) technologies to increase water supply. The existing water rights will be insufficient to meet the expected increase in water demands in 2020. it is crucial for the LMWD to manage existing water supplies.
Currently, water is pumped from the Rio Grande River to two water treatment plants:
Water Treatment Plant No. 1 (WTP 1) in Port Isabel and Water Treatment Plant No. 2 (WTP 2) in Laguna Vista. These plants service potable water to 10,475 residents within the cities of Laguna Vista, Laguna Heights, Port Isabel, and South Padre Island.
The District operates four wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs):
The Laguna Vista WWTP serves the town of Laguna Vista/Laguna Heights. The plant capacity is 0.65 million gallons per day (mgd) and has an average influent flow of 336 af/yr. The Recipient is proposing to build conveyance infrastructure to recycle and convey 336 af/yr of highly treated effluent from the Laguna Vista WWTP to the South Padre Island Golf Community.