Upper Trinity plant recognized for innovation

Feb 3, 2020

Upper Trinity Regional Water District’s (“Upper Trinity”) Riverbend Water Reclamation Plant, located in northeast Denton County, is being recognized nationally for its innovative treatment technology utilizing a magnetite ballasted activated sludge process. 

The National Environmental Achievement Award will be presented to Upper Trinity by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) at a ceremony on Feb. 5 in Atlanta.

“The ballasted activated sludge process was added during the most recent expansion of the Riverbend Plant,” said Larry Patterson, Upper Trinity’s executive director. “As population continues to increase in our service area, this new treatment process will allow Upper Trinity more operational flexibility and improve reliability in treating the increased wastewater flow.”


The ballasted activated sludge process infuses magnetite, or fine particles of iron ore, into conventional biological floc particles, to make them heavier, which accelerates the clarification process.  The magnetite is then separated from the waste-activated sludge – up to 95 percent of the magnetite is recovered and reused in the wastewater treatment process. 

Overall, this innovative treatment technology helps increase treatment capacity and meet stringent wastewater discharge permit limits.

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