Activated sludge with atmospheric and pure oxygen diffusion
Bayport is GCA’s largest facility, serving 63 industrial customers and two municipalities via a 2.25-mile BioSan pipeline for process wastewater and contaminated storm water runoff and a parallel “Clean Stream” concrete channel for streams that require solids treatment only, such as cooling tower blow-down water. The original plant was built by Friendswood Development Company, then owned by Exxon, as part of its Bayport Industrial Complex. GCA acquired the facility in 1974 and has expanded and improved it since.
While GCA’s other facilities primarily treat industrial wastewater, Blackhawk is solely dedicated to regional treatment of municipal sewage, serving the City of Friendswood, Harris County Municipal Utility District (MUD) 55, Baybrook Municipal Utility District 1, and extreme southern portions of the City of Houston.
Blackhawk came on line in 1979 after the City of Friendswood invited GCA to create a regional facility to treat its and other entities’ wastewater more efficiently and economically. Its capacity was more than tripled during the 1990s to accommodate customer growth. Wastewater is transported by pipeline to the facility, where it undergoes primary, secondary and advanced treatment, including filtering through sand and charcoal and disinfection by ultraviolet (UV) light, prior to discharge into Clear Creek.
The 40-Acre Facility commenced operations in 1974 and today provides regional wastewater treatment services for two petrochemical plants and a marine terminal operation. The facility also treats storm water and carriage water from the 40-Acre landfarm, which receives sludge from the wastewater treatment facility. The storm water and non-hazardous leachate from GCA’s nearby Campbell Bayou landfill are also treated at the 40-Acre Facility.
Wastewater is transported to the facility by pipeline, treated with sludge activated by pure oxygen infusion and polished in a series of retention ponds before the treated water is discharged into the Hurricane Canal, which feeds into the Texas City ship turning basin.
Personnel from 40-Acre also operate the nearby Campbell Bayou landfill for non-hazardous industrial solid waste such as construction debris from petrochemical plants operating in the Texas City Industrial Complex. Landfills are no longer permitted within 75 miles of coastal areas, so the grandfathered facility occupies a strategic position for serving this important industrial area.
Odessa South Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility
Activated sludge with atmospheric aeration
In the late 1990s, Odessa had a problem. Economic development was constrained by the city’s inability under environmental regulations to combine municipal wastewater with industrial streams that had not undergone pretreatment. GCA was invited to provide a regional solution—the Odessa South Industrial Wastewater Treatment Facility. GCA rebuilt and refurbished the city’s old municipal plant, commencing operations in 1997.
Today, the facility provides treatment services for municipal and industrial wastewater transported by pipeline from the City of Odessa and a number of industries. Under its permit, Odessa South also receives trucked-in wastewater from municipal septic systems and portable toilets as well as non-hazardous industrial wastewater.
In 2013, the Odessa South Facility received the necessary approvals to move ahead with supplying 2 million gallons per day of effluent to Kerr Energy for use in fracking operations. Re-use of effluent from wastewater treatment facilities will help promote conservation during the current drought and into the future. For a map of this area please click here. Click here for a Facility Brochure
Washburn Tunnel Wastewater Treatment Facility & Vince Bayou Receiving Station
Pasadena, TX, on the Houston Ship Channel
Activated sludge with atmospheric and pure oxygen infusion (Washburn Tunnel)
Acquired in 1973 from Champion Paper Co. and immediately modified and improved, Washburn Tunnel was the first facility to be operated by GCA, providing an early demonstration of the effectiveness and viability of wastewater treatment on a regional scale.
Washburn Tunnel serves refineries, petrochemical plants, bulk storage facilities and other local industries located along the Houston Ship Channel. The facility also treats approximately a million gallons per day of municipal wastewater from the City of Pasadena as well as volumes from GCA’s nearby Vince Bayou Receiving Station.
GCA created the Vince Bayou Receiving Station at the request of the City of Houston and the State of Texas to offload non-hazardous wastewater transported by truck for treatment at Washburn Tunnel.
Bayport Industrial District, Pasadena, TX
(on-site at GCA’s Bayport Facility)
Full-service NELAP-accredited testing laboratory
GCA’s individual facility laboratories were consolidated into a single Central Laboratory in 1991. While the facilities still perform some basic analysis, the heavy lifting is accomplished at the Central Laboratory, which processes 400 samples daily. Test results are generally available same day.
The Central Laboratory tests all GCA streams daily for pH balance, total organic carbons, total suspended solids, metals, chemicals and other materials to ensure that incoming wastewater may be processed effectively and that treated wastewater meets all permit requirements. The state-of-the-art facility employs spectrometry, mass spectrometry, electron capture detection, flame ionization, atomic absorption and inductively coupling plasma equipment, much of it automated, to perform its mission. The lab employs a web-based Laboratory Information Management System that enables GCA facilities and other customers to rapidly access test status and results and performs automated quality assurance for sample analysis.
In addition to its work for GCA facilities, the Central Laboratory provides analytical services to external municipal and industrial organizations. The lab is accredited by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). For a map of this area please click here. Click here for a Facility Brochure
Gulf Coast Authority