Effluent reuse project set for first phase

The city is holding a ground-breaking ceremony 2 p.m. today for the first phase of an effluent reuse water treatment plant and pipeline system with a projected cost of $16.5 million.

City officials will distribute the treated water to entities for mostly irrigation purposes. It is not for human consumption.

The cost of Phase 1A is $4 million and the funding was awarded to the city by the New Mexico Finance Authority and the state Water Trust Board.

The phase is comprised of construction of the effluent reuse water treatment plant and the pipeline connecting it to the landfill, where it will be used for dust control.

City Engineer Justin Howalt said the project will be built in stages as funding is established.

Getting started

Phase 1A construction will consist of the following:

  • Construction of a low-lift booster station, which is a wastewater pump, and this will require the removal of existing piping.
  • Upgrading and retrofitting an existing pump station.
  • Construction of a berm within the existing lagoon to separate approximately 325,000 gallons of storage.
  • A 60-by-80 foot pre-engineered metal building to house the filtration system, high lift booster pumps, disinfecting room, electrical/telemetry equipment and surge tank.
  • Installation of a 45,000 gallon welded steel equalization tank.
  • Trench excavation and back fill for reuse transmission pipeline.
  • 11,000 linear feet of 18-inch piping connecting effluent re-use water to the city landfill.
  • The Phase 1A contractor: Smithco Construction Inc. of Caballo.

The cleaning process

At the wastewater treatment plant, the wastewater is pumped through a number of bar-screens that filter large items such as rags and trash out of the water and grit and grease are mechanically removed.

In an aeration chamber, bacteria used to decompose the wastewater is injected. Howalt said the aeration chamber is like "an extension of the human digestive system."

The water is then pumped to the effluent water reuse treatment plant, where it will go through additional filtration, sanitation and chlorination.

Where is it going?

Areas that will be connected to effluent water reuse in the future: Rierson Park, county fairgrounds, Hillcrest Park, Bell Park, Yucca Middle school and the Clovis road department.


The reuse system is designed to pump 4 million gallons per day, but it will only treat water the amount of water needed by the city through all phases of construction.

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