Sustainable Water Supply Evaluation, Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport

The Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFWIA) currently purchases treated water from the Cities of Dallas and Fort Worth to satisfy its overall water needs. As part of its Utility Master Plan Study, Plummer assisted the airport in the development of a sustainable water supply strategy that includes water reuse, water conservation, and an emergency water supply source. The water reuse evaluation included identification of potential users, quantification of demands, and development of a conceptual water reuse distribution system. The source of the reclaimed water is the City of Fort Worth’s Village Creek Water Reclamation Facility, and the conceptual system was envisioned to be developed in three phases. The first phase provides reclaimed water for irrigation along the International Parkway, and to the rental car area, and to the Central Utility Plant for cooling tower makeup water. In addition, water would be available for natural gas exploration operations. Subsequent phases would provide reclaimed water for irrigation and cooling water along East and West Airfield Drive.

The strategic water conservation plan assessed recent DFWIA water use and water loss, identified existing and feasible water conservation measures, evaluated potential water savings and costs, and developed a recommended implementation schedule. Recommended water conservation measures included irrigation restrictions and controls, installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures, use of seasonal rate structures, leak detection and repair, pressure control, a water audit program, and meter testing and repair. The approach developed in the strategic plan will help DFWIA to defer the need for new potable water supplies, reduce water loss and waste, recover lost revenue, and reduce seasonal peak demands.

In addition to the development of a water reuse and water conservation plan, DFWIA was interested in evaluating potential alternative water supply sources that could be used on an emergency basis due to historic interruptions to the service from both Fort Worth and Dallas. The scope included investigating the applicability of groundwater and water from the Trinity River Authority’s (TRA) water supply system as potential emergency supply sources. For the groundwater evaluation, various data sources were analyzed, including well logs and Groundwater Availability Model (GAM) databases. A well-yield analysis was performed, water quality of the various aquifers was evaluated, and an opinion of the total probable construction cost for the groundwater emergency source was developed. Based on discussions with TRA, it was determined that TRA could provide sufficient water for DFWIA’s emergency supply under normal operating conditions. Further expansion of the TRA system would allow for additional flow to DFWIA. Comparison of the costs for each alternative, as well as consideration of reliability and compatibility with the existing supply, resulted in a recommendation that DFWIA pursue further discussions with TRA to develop an emergency supply.