PSC completed Wheeler Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant in Wheeler, Texas, in 2016. The plant uses a reverse osmosis technique that is unique to the Texas Panhandle. With the help of a membrane, the water treatment plant is able to use their available groundwater resources and pumps 1 million gallons per day (MGD).

Wheeler had historic problems with high nitrate issues in the groundwater. PSC was originally contacted to provide alternatives to the existing groundwater for the city’s potable supply. After evaluation of alternatives, the city selected treatment of the existing groundwater instead of alternate sources. The city was advised to pursue reverse osmosis treatment as it provided treatment for other possible constituents of concern in addition to nitrate.

Pilot studies for reverse osmosis systems were required by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) at the time of the project’s inception. PSC coordinated the pilot study complete with protocols, manufacturer coordination, testing coordination and final pilot reporting to TCEQ. The results of the pilot study identified that reverse osmosis rejected over 96 percent of the nitrate present in the groundwater and proved to be an effective treatment alternative.

The plant was initially designed to treat up to 1.0 MGD, but the design facilitates future expansion of up to 2.0 MGD. The project site had new security fencing installed, and the public water filling station from the city hall was relocated to the water treatment plant site. Design of the plant included a new treatment building, a finished water ground storage tank with a capacity of 25,000 gallons, a concentrate tank and discharge, an on-demand raw water sale station, chemical feed systems, plant piping, a new gas chlorination system and numerous electrical upgrades. A backup generator and power system were also installed to ensure that the city would have a constant source of clean water.

PSC oversaw construction of the facility. RPR services were crucial for ensuring the level of quality was as specified. Several major items were rejected, and the PSC RPR team worked with the city and the contractor to keep the project moving forward while still being fair to the project documents.

Upon startup of the facility, PSC coordinated blend ratios and post-treatment to ensure a smooth transition to reverse osmosis water. PSC worked diligently with the city to get all warranties, documentation, and training performed prior to the closeout of the contract. The project was completed in 2016 and is a point of pride for the City of Wheeler.