Cemex completed a new water recycling system at its Balcones Quarry near New Braunfels, Texas. The automated system will decrease the building-materials company’s environmental impact and reliance on water pulled from nearby sources by using 90% less water annually than previously used by the quarry’s wash plant.
Water recycling is a key to the Balcones quarry’s recently updated and expanded wash plant, which cleans the aggregates used in concrete and asphalt. The new recycling system uses and recycles 12,000 gallons of water per minute, separating aggregate sand fines, which are then reclaimed from the water stream as usable sand product. Recycling decreases the need for additional local water and adds wash-plant efficiency.
"The new water recycling system at Cemex’s Balcones quarry is the first of its kind in our operations and was constructed to reduce reliance on local aquifers, which are extremely important water sources for the more than two million local residents and businesses,” said Scott Ducoff, Cemex USA regional president for Texas and New Mexico.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New Braunfels was the nation's second-fastest growing city among those with more than 50,000 residents, recording a population increase of 6.6% during the 12 months ending July 1, 2015. The new recycling system will save enough water annually to fill 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Cemex Balcones Quarry began operations in 1969 and is one of the top aggregate producers in the U.S., producing 10 to 12 million tons of limestone materials. Currently employs more than 100 people are employed there, and it is one of the largest crushed stone quarries in North America.
Cemex provides building materials in more than 50 countries. The company is celebrating its 110th anniversary. Its U.S. network includes 13 cement plants, 46 distribution terminals, 74 aggregate quarries and more than 350 ready-mix concrete plants.