The Albert H. Ullrich Water Treatment Plant, located in Austin, Texas, is a critical piece of infrastructure responsible for treating and distributing drinking water to the city’s more than one million residents. The plant was built in 1974 and has been in continuous operation since then, undergoing several upgrades and expansions over the years to meet the growing demand for clean water in the Austin metropolitan area.
The Ullrich Water Treatment Plant is managed by Austin Water, the city’s public utility department responsible for providing water and wastewater services to residents and businesses. The plant is one of four water treatment facilities operated by Austin Water, with the others located at Davis, Driftwood, and the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant. Additional resources
The Ullrich Water Treatment Plant draws water from the Colorado River, which runs through the heart of Austin. The plant has a capacity of 105 million gallons per day (mgd), which is enough to meet the daily water needs of more than 600,000 people. The plant treats the raw water to remove impurities and contaminants before it is distributed to homes and businesses throughout the city. Link
The treatment process at the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant consists of several stages, including:
- Screening and pre-treatment: Raw water is screened to remove large debris and then passes through a series of pre-treatment filters to remove smaller particles and sediment.
- Coagulation and flocculation: Chemicals such as alum and polymer are added to the water to help coagulate and settle out fine particles.
- Sedimentation: The coagulated water is allowed to settle in large sedimentation basins, allowing the heavier particles to sink to the bottom.
- Filtration: The settled water is then passed through a series of sand and activated carbon filters to remove any remaining impurities.
- Disinfection: Chlorine is added to the filtered water to kill any remaining bacteria or viruses.
- Fluoridation: A small amount of fluoride is added to the treated water to help prevent tooth decay.
Once the water has been treated and disinfected, it is pumped to one of Austin Water’s many storage tanks and then distributed through a network of pipes to homes and businesses throughout the city.
In addition to its primary function of providing clean drinking water, the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant is also committed to environmental sustainability and responsible water management. The plant uses a variety of technologies and practices to minimize its impact on the environment, including:
- Energy efficiency: The plant uses energy-efficient pumps and motors, as well as energy recovery systems, to reduce energy consumption.
- Water conservation: The plant recycles water from its treatment processes and uses it for non-potable purposes, such as landscaping and cooling.
- Biosolids management: The plant treats and manages the waste generated during the treatment process in an environmentally responsible manner, including converting it into fertilizer for agricultural use.
- Education and outreach: The plant offers educational tours and outreach programs to help educate the public about the importance of water conservation and responsible water management.
How To Go There?
The Albert H. Ullrich Water Treatment Plant is located at 8000 Forest View Drive, Austin, TX 78746, USA. There are several ways to get there, depending on your mode of transportation.
- By car: The plant is located off Loop 360 (Capital of Texas Highway), just south of Westlake Drive. If you are driving from downtown Austin, take MoPac Expressway (Loop 1) south and exit at Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) south. Follow Loop 360 south for approximately 4 miles and turn right onto Forest View Drive. The plant will be on your left.
- By public transportation: There is no direct public transportation to the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant. However, you can take Capital Metro’s #30 bus to the intersection of Capital of Texas Highway and Westlake Drive, which is approximately 1.5 miles from the plant. From there, you can walk or take a taxi to the plant.
- By bicycle or on foot: The plant is located near the Barton Creek Greenbelt, a popular hiking and biking trail in Austin. You can access the plant from the trail by taking the Spyglass Trailhead and following the path to the intersection of Forest View Drive and Twin Oaks Drive. From there, you can walk to the plant.
Parking is available on-site for visitors to the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant. However, because it is an active water treatment facility, visitors must first contact Austin Water to schedule a visit and obtain clearance before entering the plant.
Overall, the Albert H. Ullrich Water Treatment Plant plays a critical role in providing clean drinking water to the residents of Austin, Texas. Through its commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible water management, the plant is helping to ensure a reliable supply of clean water for generations to come.
Important Information Need to Know
- Address: Forest View Dr, Austin, TX 78746, USA
- Website: N/A
- Contact: N/A
- Open Hours: N/A