Council OKs water re-use feasibility report

March 5, 2019

Tetra Tech to provide design services for water re-use system

The Bartlesville City Council on Monday voted to approve the final report on a study examining options for the City of Bartlesville relating to long-term water supply.

The study was initially compiled by Tetra Tech in 2010 and included options to construct a secondary wastewater treatment plant south of Bartlesville or to upgrade the existing Chickasaw Wastewater Treatment Plant, located on north Tuxedo Boulevard. The council at that time opted to construct a secondary wastewater plant south of town at a cost of approximately $39 million.

However, the council voted to upgrade the report last year to include the feasibility of water reclamation, also known as water re-use, in the study. Water re-use became a possibility in Oklahoma in 2012 with the adoption of the “Water for 2060 Law,” which acts in accordance with a goal to consume no more fresh water in 2060 than was consumed in 2012 and tasks the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality to develop regulations and encourage water re-use. Implementation of the system in Bartlesville means treated wastewater will be pumped several miles upstream into the Caney River to be reclaimed and treated for consumption.

The City of Bartlesville began looking at ways to secure long-term water supply for the area after severe drought conditions occurring in the early 2000s left the City’s primary water supply source, Hulah Lake, dangerously low. The City also utilizes water from the City-owned Hudson Lake and the Caney River. City officials and the citizen-driven Water Resources Committee have been working for years to lobby the U.S. government/Corp of Engineers to reallocate water supply at Hulah Lake and to lower the cost for water rights at Copan Lake.

Progress on both measures, which together would ensure long-term water supply for Bartlesville and the surrounding area, continues to move steadily but slowly. Water re-use is seen as a tool that could serve as an intermediate that could extend Bartlesville’s water supply for 15-35 years, according to Water Utilities Director Terry Lauritsen.

The City currently supplies water to Bartlesville residents, the cities of Dewey, Ramona and Ochelata and several rural water districts. Average annual water use for the area is 5-6 millions of gallons of water per day (mgd), with usage spiking as high as 12 mgd during the summer months and dipping to 3-4 mgd during the winter. Water re-use could extend available water supply by about 4 mgd, which will help meet estimated future water demands of 7.1 mgd by 2035 and 8.4 mgd by 2055, based on a projected 2055 Washington County population of 63,000, according to an updated Corps of Engineers study.

In a separate agenda item, the council approved a contract with Tetra Tech in the amount of $570,000 to complete a design for implementation of the system.

“With the completion of the Water Reuse Feasibility study, the next task in the plant expansion/reuse concept is the engineering design for the reuse pump station and pipeline as well as renovating the raw water intake structure on the Caney River,” Lauritsen said. “Due to their involvement with the facility planning and feasibility study, staff requested a proposal from Tetra Tech for engineering services to prepare the necessary environmental and construction documents for this project.”

Per the contract, Tetra tech will complete the design by February 2020. The design services are budgeted through the Water Plant Capital Reserve fund. The estimated construction cost for this project is $8.2 million.

“In February 2017 the City applied for a $750,000 grant through the Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Drought Response Program: Drought Resiliency Projects for the construction of the pump station, pipeline and raw water intake improvements,” Lauritsen said. “In June 2017, the City was notified of the (United States Bureau of Reclamation’s) intent to award. While a final agreement has not yet been signed, it is anticipated that this agreement will be available for City acceptance within the next 60-90 days.”

Lauritsen said the professional service contract with Tetra Tech has been structured to include the federal items that will be required through the BOR agreement.

The water re-use system could be online by May 2021, Lauritsen said.

See the entire report here: Feasibility Study Report: Augment Bartlesville Water Supply with Drought Resilient Reclaimed Water