The Brazos River Authority was the parent agency of WMARSS. Colonel Walter Wellsfirst fostered the idea as the BRA general manager in April of 1965 and worked with the owner cities. To explored the feasibility of constructing a regional sewerage system for Waco area. After much work, a proposal was adopted It was the first system in the state designed to serve an entire metropolitan area and received the endorsement of Joe D. Carter, Chairman of the Texas Water, Quality Board, and Hugh Yantis, the Texas Water Quality Board's Executive Director.
The Waco Metropolitan Area Regional Sewerage System (WMARSS) began operation in 1970 and at the present regional wastewater plant site in July 1985. The regional plant was originally designed for an average flow of 37.8 million gallons per day and serves the cities of Waco, Woodway, Lacy-Lakeview, Bellmead, Robinson, and Hewitt. The owner cities previously operated individual wastewater treatment plants. These plants’ treatment technologies ranged from trickling filters, activated sludge, and oxidation ditches and lagoons.
The WMARSS plant is a biological wastewater treatment system. That means it is environmentally conscious. It is designed to treat and remove pollutants biologically without the use of chemicals. There are only three chemicals used is chlorine for disinfection, sulfur dioxide for the removal of the chlorine before the plant effluent reaches the receiving stream and polymer to thicken and dewater the sludge. The biological process is an environmentally safe process that effectively treats the wastewater. The quality of the effluent from the WMARSS is better than the water in the receiving stream.
In 1991, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission recognized the WMARSS as the best operated and maintained facility in Texas with a flow of more than 10 million gallons per day. In 1993 both the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency again recognized it for its excellence in operations and maintenance. This recognition exemplifies the dedication and professionalism of WMARSS employees. It also shows the desire to provide the best and most economical wastewater treatment to the consumer.