Roberto R. Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Roberto R. Bustamante Wastewater Treatment Plant began serving the east, southeast, and Lower Valley parts of the city in 1991 and has a treatment capacity of 39 MGD. This plant utilizes state-of-the-art extended aeration activated sludge processes, biological nitrification, and caustic air scrubbers for odor control.
The plant has the ability to discharge to either the Riverside Canal or the Riverside Drain. Discharges to the Riverside Canal are used chiefly for irrigation purposes. Discharges to the Riverside Drain go mainly to the Rio Bosque Wetlands Preserve where they help maintain and sustain the aquatic habitat required by the diverse animal and plant species present. The plant also has the capability to provide reclaimed water to industries located in the Riverside Industrial Park.
Since the plant's inception, it has received 1 National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Peak Performance Platinum Award, 17 NACWA Gold Awards, and 2 NACWA Silver Awards. In 1994, the plant placed second in the nation in the USEPA Operations and Maintenance Excellence Awards, Large-Secondary Treatment category, representing the State of Texas and EPA Region VI. The Water Environment Association of Texas also judged this plant the Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant of the Year for 2005.