The Wastewater Treatment Department is responsible for the operation of the Reclamation Plant, which treats the wastewater from the City of Andrews Collection System.
Treated effluent is discharged to holding ponds and can be utilized for irrigation at nearby City-owned land and the golf course.
To provide the most effective wastewater collection and reclamation facility to the citizens of Andrews.
The City of Andrews Wastewater Treatment Plant is dedicated to protecting the physical environment and to sustaining the quality of life for all citizens of Andrews.
Our objective is to manage and operate in a safe, cost-efficient and ecologically sound wastewater service for the benefit of the City of Andrews.
We promote environmental stewardship as a community value and ar committed to protecting and preserving the environment by maintaining regulatory compliance and educating the public.
This will be accomplished through constant vigilance, operator training, excellent system maintenance and effective communication.
The Reclamation Plant operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and has operators on call after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends. Operators have control of the plant utilizing remote SCADA system capabilities. All operators are certified by the TCEQ.
Operators are responsible for maintaining the irrigation Big Gun Irrigation System and repairs to the irrigation piping from the plant, which keeps effluent contained according to TCEQ Rules and Regulations.
- Operating and preventive maintenance of the well fields and pump stations
- Daily laboratory test of plant process efficiency
- Continual bacteriological and chemical sampling of the distribution system
- Meeting TCEQ requirements
The Reclamation Plant is located on County Road 1 just east of Andrews. The plant receives up to 1,100,000 gallons per day of wastewater generated from residential and commercial facilities.
The City of Andrews Wastewater Permit contains effluent limits as well as reporting, record keeping, monitoring, testing, and post-treatment requirements.
Wastewater enters the treatment plant through the City's main line, which is designed and built to collect and convey wastewater from homes, businesses and industries.
In order to properly convey wastewater, the collection system is designed for a gravity flow of two feet per second to keep solids suspended in the wastewater. Liftstations are used where gravity flow is not possible due to the topography of the land. Here in Andrews, five (5) lift stations are utilized.
Components of a Wastewater Collection System
Laterial and Branch Sewers - Are the upper end of the sewer system. Laterals dead-end at their upstream end with branch sewers collecting the wasteater from several lateral sewer lines.
Main Sewers - Are collectors for numerous lateral and branch sewers from a specific neighborhood and convey the wastewater to larger trunk sewer lines or lift stations.
Lift Stations or Pump Stations - Are used in gravity sewer systems to lift (pump) wastewater to a higher elevation when the route followed by a gravity sewer would require the sewer to be laid at an insufficnet slope or at an impractical depth. Lift stations vary in size and type depending on the quantity of wastewater to be handled and the height it must be lifted.
Upon entering the treatment plant, wastewater then goes through the bar screen which removes large objects that could block pipes or damage equipment. Bars are cleaned periodically with automated mechanical rakes and the material removed is taken to the landfill.
The wastewater is treated through an active sludge process in which biological organisms are used to clean the wastewater to a quality that meets state permit limitations.
The process principle is to biologically convert pollutants that will not settle into substances that will settle. The wastewater is mixed with "activated sludge" in a large aeration basin called a "racetrack". Mechanical rotors with stainless steel paddles are used to provide the bacteria and other micro-organisms with enough oxygen to support the biological process in the wastewater. In fact, the bacteria "eat" organic matter in the wastewater. The process is controlled to minimize biological "burning up" of organic material.
Dissoslved and suspended impurities in the wastewater are incorporated into the activated sludge floc through adsorption (when solids stick to the surface of the bacteria) and absorption (when dissolved gases and solids are taken into the bacteria where they can be assimilated) by the micro-organisms.
The mixture of activated sludge from the aeration basin is transferred to final clarifiers, where gravity separates the micro-organisms from the wastewater. The clarified wastewater overflows the clarifier weirs and moves on to the effluent settling ponds.
The settled activated sludge is returned to the aeration basin to continue the treatment process. Scum floating on the surface of the final clarifier is removed.
After the process is complete, the water is disinfected with chlorine and is stored until it is re-used by the local golf course.
Odors occur as a natural part of the treatment of wastewater. By design, odors are usually contained within the plant site; however, due to a variety of operating and weather conditions, odors will occasionally drift away from the facility.
Most of the odors detected at a wastewater treatment plant have a rotten egg smell that indicates the presence of sulfur and may include hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans. Other odors are characterized as fishy or pungent and may include materials containing ammonia. All of these compounds are naturally occurring and are detectable by the human nose at extremely low concentrations.
Danny Griffin, Director is the Chief Plant Operator and has been certified by the TCEQ with a Class "B" Wastewater License. Mike Aguero, Utility Plant Manager, helps maintain the reclamation plant and currently holds a Class "C" Wastewater License.