Feature Illustration: Google Earth image of the elevated water storage tank in Shallowater, Texas.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Austin (Travis County) — The Texas Water Development Board closed out the with by approving another $163 million in water and wastewater infrastructure projects, and about one-third of that will go to rural communities.
At the board’s December meeting, the largest share of financial assistance went to the City of Arlington–$79.5 million was approved to help Arlington construct two new six-million gallon clear wells and a pump station and install a new chlorine contact tank. The city was experiencing hydraulic limitations at its Pierce Burch water treatment plant that impaired its 75 million gallons per day design capacity.
The design phase is scheduled to be complete Dec. 20, 2019 and construction will begin June 12, 2020, ending Dec. 15, 2022.
City of Brady (McCulloch County) was approved for about $28.9 million, consisting of $13,375,000 from the Economically Distressed Areas Program and $10,830,000 from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Brady received an Administrative Order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for non-compliance with the Maximum Contaminant Level for radionuclides in its groundwater supply, specifically combined radium (radium-226 and -228) and gross alpha particles. In addition, the City’s surface water treatment plant is currently unable to treat surface water effectively to meet state and federal MCLs for disinfection by-products, leading to the City receiving violations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for total trihalomethanes.
Brady completed planning and design phases and funds are needed for the construction of water system improvements to bring the City’s drinking water into compliance. Improvements include a new radionuclide reduction treatment plant, water transmission lines, elevated and ground storage facilities, and pre-treatment improvements at the surface water treatment plant.
Construction should begin March 20, 2019 and reach completion March 25, 2021.
North Alamo Water Supply Corporation (Hidalgo County) was approved for $15,854,000 for construction of a wastewater collection and treatment system to provide first-time wastewater service to ten unincorporated subdivisions north of the City of Weslaco.
Phase 1 of this project has been completed. That includes planning, acquisition, and design of a project to provide first time sewer service. The current funding request will be used to construct the 0.7 MGD wastewater treatment plant and a wastewater collection system in eight of the subdivisions (Puesta Del Sol, Sunrise Hill, Sunrise 2, Olivarez 4, La Paloma #1, La Paloma #2, Cielo Azul #3, Los Alamos), which will serve about 785 connections with a population of approximately 2,949. The Corporation plans to pursue additional funding in the future to construct the collection system in the remaining two subdivisions.
Construction is to begin May 4, 2019 and be completed by Aug. 3, 2020.
El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board, acting on behalf of the City of El Paso (El Paso County), received $12,865,000 in funding for construction of a first-time wastewater service project in the Montana Vista area.
Montana Vista area is located in the eastern portion of the county with approximately 8,132 residents. These residents have received water service through either the El Paso Water or the El Paso County East Montana Water System since 1996, but no sanitary sewer service.
Currently, the residents rely on on-site sewage facilities, cesspools, or discharge wastewater directly on the surface. There are approximately 2,396 households in the Montana Vista Area, 1,990 of which meet EDAP eligibility. Construction will consist if installation of a centralized gravity flow wastewater transmission line, various diameter collection lines, and manholes.
Construction begins April 15, 2019 and is to be completed by Jan. 15, 2021.
Beaver Creek Water Control and Improvement District #1 (Burleson County) was approved for a $6,345,000 grant for construction of a new water system project.
Moffat Water Supply Corporation (Bell County) was approved for $3,300,000 in financing for planning, acquisition, design, and construction of a water system improvements project.
City of Shallowater (Lubbock County) secured $2,500,000 in financial assistance for the construction of water system improvements; and for a waiver from the requirement to include funds to mitigate water loss as a part of this project.
Kerr County was approved for $13,375,000 for construction of a wastewater collection system to provide first-time wastewater service to Center Point and surrounding areas in eastern Kerr County. The is a project already in progress.
The community of Center Point is an unincorporated area approximately 10 miles southeast of Kerrville.
Residents of Center Point and surrounding areas currently rely on individual on-site sewer facilities, many of which do not meet current minimum standards. To address these deficiencies, Kerr County is proposing to construct a new wastewater collection system with an estimated 939 new
connections and associated lift stations.
Construction began in October and to be completed Oct. 30, 2020.
The Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District (Armstrong, Carson, Donley, Gray, Hutchinson, Potter, Roberts and Wheeler Counties) obtained $1,000,000 in financial assistance from the Agriculture Water Conservation Loan Program for an agriculture water conservation equipment loan program.
City of Bevil Oaks (Jefferson County) for $500,000 in principal forgiveness from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for planning, design, and construction of a Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery project.
Hardin County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 (Hardin County) for $438,000 in principal forgiveness from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for planning, design, and construction of a Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery project.
City of Whiteface (Cochran County) secured $450,000 in financing for planning, design, and construction of water system improvements.