WICHITA FALLS - Alcoa Power and Propulsion has started construction on an innovative water treatment system at its jet engine parts facility in Wichita Falls.
A first-of-its-kind in the state, the environmentally sustainable system will reduce water use by 68 percent annually at the plant, which is located in the drought-stricken region of North Central Texas.
Construction of the water treatment system — known as a Natural Engineered Wastewater Treatment (NEWT) system — is expected to be completed in third quarter this year.
The NEWT system collects water used in the facility and then purifies it using vegetation — without the use of traditional wastewater treatment associated with conventional tank-based systems.
The water is treated to a high quality, suitable for continued use in the manufacturing process.
Since February 2014, the City of Wichita Falls has required all industrial businesses to reduce water consumption by 10 to 35 percent.
The $2.4 million project will be funded jointly by Alcoa and the City of Wichita Falls, with the city funding 50 percent of the project cost.
Alcoa Power and Propulsion's Wichita Falls plant is a leading producer of equiax superalloy blades and vanes for commercial and military jet engines and industrial gas turbines.
The facility has been located in Wichita Falls since 1979. It consists of two manufacturing sites occupying 170,000 sf and 49,000 sf, both located on 66 acres.