The December 2019 opening of the new Midland, Texas, sewage treatment plant highlighted the success of a public/private partnership. In 2017, the City of Midland agreed to let Pioneer Resources build the facility in return for a long-term supply of reclaimed water for use in the company’s oil and gas development activities in the region.
While designing the $133 million project, Jacobs Engineering and CH2M-Hill engineers were aware of the need to protect new reinforced concrete structures from the highly caustic chemicals common in sewage and industrial waste. Also, soils in that part of the Lone Star State bear a high level of sulfate further necessitating development of a robust mix design to ensure concrete performance. The engineers opted for an admixture that would seal the concrete, withstand hazardous chemical exposure, and reduce long-term repair and maintenance requirements.
The admixture’s proprietary chemicals initiate a catalytic reaction to generate a non-soluble, lattice-like crystalline formation throughout the pores, micro-cracks and capillary tracts typically found in concrete. The formation essentially makes the concrete impermeable, stopping water and harmful chemical ingress—even at high hydrostatic pressure. Ready mixed producer Troy Vines treated over 25,000 yd. of concrete with Penetron Admix, specified for the new plant’s tank, filter and headworks concrete mixes.
“Contractor PLW Waterworks appreciated the [admixture’s] ‘green tracer’ that presents itself as a luminous tint in the bleed water. This identification control tool provides construction and design teams with reliable proof that Penetron is in the mix,” says Penetron Group Director Christopher Chen, who calls the partnership behind the wastewater treatment plant project “a classic win-win … The City of Midland gets a new wastewater treatment plant, and Pioneer has a reliable source of water for its operations. In addition, Pioneer will pay the city up to $2.5 million annually for the sale of treated water, which will also reduce pressure on the town’s freshwater resources.” — Penetron Group, East Setauket, N.Y.; 631/941-9700; www.penetron.com