Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Ackerson, Michael


A groundwater treatment facility was designed for Lawton, Oklahoma to address potential water scarcity due to drought conditions in southwest Oklahoma. The facility will produce five million gallons per day (MGD) of treated water. The plant will have the capacity of treating 4,085 gallons per minute of influent water at an 86% recovery. The water to be treated will come from the Arbuckle-Timbered Hills Aquifer. Studies have been conducted around the aquifer to identify the best well site locations.

A centralized treatment facility using reverse osmosis filtration as the main treatment technology has been designed. To prevent reverse osmosis membrane fouling, several pre- treatment steps including pH adjustment, ozonation, sand filtration, and pre-screening have been added to the process to extend the life of the membrane. The main contaminants to be removed in the treatment are chloride, fluoride, total dissolved solids, and arsenic which are all above the acceptable levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The water produced by the new treatment plant will be pH neutral and will have lower contaminant levels than the water currently produced by the Southeast Water Treatment Plant. This ensures that both the new treated groundwater and current surface water streams can be mixed into the Southeast Water Treatment Plant’s distribution system without damage to the existing infrastructure. The waste from the new plant will be sent to the Lawton wastewater treatment facility for treatment.

The total fixed capital cost for the plant is estimated to be $18.1 MM and the yearly operating cost is $1.6 MM. This estimate includes 20 plant operators spread between 4 shifts at $45 M per operator. Assuming the 5 MGD of water produced is sold, the current pricing structure for the City of Lawton should be sufficient to operate the treatment plant with a 5.4- year payback period with a 20-year net present worth of $20 MM at a 5 percent discount rate.


Reverse Osmosis, Water Treatment, Pre-Treatment, Aquifer, Oklahoma, Arbuckle-Timbered Hills