Cemex today announced the completion of a new water recycling system at the Cemex Balcones quarry near New Braunfels, Texas. The state-of-the-art 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.

The water recycling system is a key component to the Balcones quarry’s recently-updated and expanded wash plant, which cleans the aggregates used in concrete and asphalt. The new, fully automated water recycling system uses and recycles 12,000 gallons of water per minute to separate aggregate sand fines, which are then reclaimed from the water stream as usable sand product. The water recycling system decreases the need for additional local water and adds efficiency to wash plant operations.

“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. “We’re proud of the updates our team has made at the Balcones quarry, and expect a positive impact on our surrounding communities.”

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 percent during the 12 months ending July 1, 2015. The new recycling system will save the equivalent of 2,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools annually.

“This project represents Cemex’s continued commitment to integrating safety and sustainability practices into our operations and to minimize our environmental footprint in the communities in which we live, work, and operate,” said Ignacio Madridejos, Cemex USA President. “Our team has driven day-to-day activities to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees while also applying industry-leading environmental management practices in our Balcones operations, and we’re extremely proud of their diligence.”

Cemex Balcones Quarry began operations in 1969 and is one of the top aggregate producers in the U.S., producing approximately 10-12 million tons of limestone materials. The Cemex Balcones quarry currently employs more than 100 people and is one of the largest crushed stone quarries in North America.