Vitro Glass’ Wichita Falls plant has been cited as a national model for water reclamation after its use of reclaimed water reduced demand by 50 million gallons per year during a time of drought.
The Wichita Falls plant in Texas is operated by Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass), and has been cited in a case study published by the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF).
Vitro Glass was recognised for a $1.9 million project that diverts treated non-potable wastewater from the city’s Northside Wastewater Treatment Plant to seven glass-cooling towers operated by Vitro Glass, which has reduced potable water consumption at the facility by more than 50 million gallons per year.
The project, which was implemented during extreme drought conditions in 2014 and 2015, included construction of a 1-million-gallon reservoir to store non-potable water on-site, as well as the rerouting of rinse water for a glass coater and washer.
Bill Haley, Plant Manager at Wichita Falls, said the project is a national model for cooperation between a municipality and a major employer.
“More than half the funds for the water optimisation project were provided by the Wichita Falls Economic Development Council,” he explained.
“The management team at the city’s wastewater treatment facility also demonstrated exceptional foresight by obtaining the necessary permits to sell non-potable water before the project was under consideration.”
Vitro Architectural Glass recently announced that the Wichita Falls plant will be the site of a new
$55 million jumbo magnetron sputtered vacuum deposition (MSVD) glass coater, expected to be the largest of its kind in North America.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for April.
Based in Alexandria, Virginia, and formed in July 2016, the WE&RF manages a portfolio of more than $200 million to conduct research to treat and recover beneficial materials from wastewater, stormwater, and seawater including water, nutrients, energy, and biosolids.
Other case studies published in the organisation’s most recent report cover successful water reuse and reclamation projects implemented by the Coca-Cola Company, Ford Motor Company and General Motors in the U.S., Mexico and India.