Life Flow: The Story of Benbrook Water Authority
Life Flow is a 25 minute documentary on the origins, operations, and people of Benbrook Water Authority in Benbrook, Texas.
Aspects of the Benbrook Water Facility
- Emergency Supply
- Storage Capacity
- Water Sources & Supply
- Wastewater Treatment
- Water Wells
The City of Benbrook was incorporated in 1947 when the community of approximately 50 people was served by individual water wells and septic tanks. In 1949, the city granted a franchise to the Worth Water Company to install and operate a water system in Benbrook. In 1955, Benbrook Water Authority (BWA) was established by the Texas Legislature as a water conservation and reclamation district and assumed the assets of the Worth Water Company (HB 512 of the 54th Legislature). At the time the City did not have the funds to take over and operate the system. BWA’s acquisition of the water system began a success story that continues to this day.
The BWA was initially chartered to serve the geographic limits of the City of Benbrook as they existed on December 8, 1947. This jurisdiction was later expanded to include all the city limits of Benbrook as it existed on February 1, 1969 (House Bill 1313, 61st Legislature).
Today, BWA provides water supply, treatment and distribution, as well as wastewater collection services to 20,000 plus residents of Benbrook. BWA currently has a total facility investment of $26.7 million and an annual operating budget of approximately $10 million. The water operation is financed entirely from water revenues and water impact fees. The wastewater operation is financed entirely by user charges and wastewater impact fees. BWA does not have the authority to levy ad valorem taxes but may issue bonds.
BWA has an agreement to purchase in excess of 1 million gallons a day of treated water from the City of Fort Worth when necessary for emergencies or during periods of peak demand.
The BWA Water Treatment Plant has a maximum rated capacity of 12 million gallons per day (MGD) with a maximum use to date of 8.9 MGD. Additional peaking capacity is available from the well system and can produce an additional 1 MGD for a combined production capacity of 13 MGD.
Storage capacity for water in Benbrook is 4.2 million gallons (MG) in overhead storage tanks and 6.5 MG in ground storage tanks, for a total of 10.7 MG.
Water is obtained from Benbrook Lake and from 12 groundwater wells. Benbrook Lake is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the purposes of water supply and flood control. The lake was constructed beginning in 1947 and began impounding water in 1952. Learn more information on Benbrook Lake via the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.
In 1991, BWA’s water rights in the lake were consolidated with the rights of Fort Worth and Weatherford under the management of the Tarrant County Water Control and Improvement District Number 1 (now called the Tarrant Regional Water District). Under this arrangement Benbrook can divert sufficient water from the lake for all its existing and future needs and the Tarrant Regional Water District will be able to balance water demands among all of the north and eastern Texas reservoirs.
In 1991 to 1992, BWA completed construction and put into service a new raw water intake structure and pipeline to withdraw greater quantities of better quality water directly from Benbrook Lake to be treated and used in its water supplies. The result is reduced water turbidity, which has produced more consistent treatment and finished waters with turbidity values below the 0.05 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) requirement of the Surface Water Treatment Rule.
BWA collects wastewater from residential and commercial customers. The collection systems of BWA and the City of Fort Worth are interconnected in over 40 locations.
BWA provides collection in south Benbrook, Westpark and portions of Trinity Ranch prior to discharge into the Fort Worth system. North Benbrook, Ridglea Country club and Mont Del Estates are served by a combination of BWA and Fort Worth collection lines. Some areas of Benbrook are not connected to the BWA wastewater collection system. Many of these areas had septic systems prior to the availability of sanitary sewer service and have chosen to remain on their private system. Many of these private systems will eventually connect to the BWA sewer system when their septic system fails.
The areas without residential sanitary sewer service are diminishing rapidly with the passage of time.
Wastewater is treated under contract with the City of Fort Worth at their regional treatment center at Village Creek, using conventional treatment with sand filtration. Wastewater capacity from Benbrook is not limited. An expansion completed in 1999 increased the capacity of the Village Creek facility to 166 millions of gallons per day.
The 12 private groundwater wells currently in service in Benbrook tap the Paluxy and Trinity sands, two of the major aquifers in the subsurface of North Central Texas, and have a maximum production capacity of 1 million gallons per day.