Northeast Water Purification Plant

Construction of Northeast Water Purification Plant Past Halfway Mark

The City of Houston’s new $2 billion Northeast Water Purification Plant between Lake Houston and Beltway 8 East is now more than 50% complete. The last monthly progress report posted on was from more than a year ago. At the time, it showed construction 55% complete. Since then, the City has continued to post detailed periodic construction updates. The latest was in March 2022. It featured 79 pages of photos that dramatize the complexity of such a huge project. A flyover of the plant on 7/22/22 showed even more progress.

The latest timetable shows completion of the first phase early next year and completion of the second in 2025.

Project Benefits

The plant will provide enough treated surface water to reduce subsidence, which causes much of our flooding problems according to the City of Houston and the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District.

The Harris-Galveston Subsidence District says that land subsidence is caused by the withdrawal of groundwater. For that reason, regulations have been put in place to limit the use of groundwater.

By 2025, surface water must supply at least 60 percent of our water. The plant should meet that objective. And, it will wean 80% of the region off groundwater by 2035.

The plant expansion will supply 320 million gallons per day of treated water capacity in addition to the current 80 million gallons per day. So, capacity will quintuple by completion.

Then and Now Pictures Show Progress

The last time I posted about this project, construction was kicking into high gear back in September of 2020. Below are five pairs of photos from then and now that show how far it has come.

intake plant
September 2020
July 2022

The two pipelines leading to the Northeast Water Purification Plant are each 9 feet tall!

Northeast Water Treatment Plant
September 2020. Looking west toward Beltway.
July 2022

September 2020
July 2022

September 2020
July 2022

Improved Techniques

According to the City, “The expansion will include conventional treatment processes like the existing plant that help coagulate, settle, filter, and then disinfect water.” Quality will exceed Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements. 

In addition, says the City, an advanced oxidation process called ozonation will disinfect water to help ensure that harmful organisms such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium are eliminated. Ozonation also helps eliminate taste and odor causing compounds, which improves the aesthetic quality of the water supplied by the Northeast Water Purification Plant.

Posted by Bob Rehak on July 28, 2022

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