Water reuse Americas Membranes

Leader interview: Gilbert Trejo on El Paso’s direct potable reuse project

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

El Paso Water in Texas is leading with the way with a direct to distribution, also known as direct potable reuse project. CTO Gilbert Trejo explains why water reuse should be out of diversification, not desperation.

Project Popeye

Utility El Paso Water (EPW) is making history with one of the first “direct to distribution” projects, otherwise known as direct potable reuse, in the US.

The $100 million Advanced Water Purification Facility will be located within the arid Chihuahuan Desert on EPW’s water campus, which also includes a surface water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plant.

The facility will treat up to 10 million gallons per day (mgd) of secondary effluent from the Roberto R. Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant to produce high-quality purified water.

In an exclusive online interview, Gilbert Trejo, chief technical officer at El Paso Water and president of the WateReuse Association, speaks to Aquatech Online content director, Tom Freyberg about the development of the Advanced Water Purification Facility.

He discusses:

  • Making history with the first "direct to distribution", direct potable reuse facility in the US
  • Why the water utility decided to build the plant "out of diversification, not desperation"
  • The importance for water utilities to "tell their stories" to help gain trust and get consumers on board with new developments.

The full video interview can be found below:

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