1996 – Christopher Richard, a project manager with the consulting engineering firm of Domingue, Szabo & Associates (DSA), and Don Broussard, superintendent of water production for the City of Lafayette Utilities System, were presenters at the Ninth Annual Louisiana Water Quality Technology Conference on Dec. 12 and 13, 1995, in Alexandria and Baton Rouge.

The title of the presentation was “Filter Backwash Recovery and Recycling for Potable Water Use.” The men detailed a recently constructed project, designed by DSA, at the City’s South Water Treatment Plant on W. Broussard Road, which for the first time provided 100 percent reuse of plant water. The project was motivated by a DEQ mandate requiring treatment or elimination of point sources discharges from the plant. The project allows for recovery of 150,000 gallons of water per day which otherwise would have been discharged to a nearby coulee.

It is estimated that the construction cost of the project will be paid off in five to seven years through the savings in wasted potable water. The project is the only one of its kind in the United States, according to American Water Works Association sources.