Bastrop: City to Build New Water Wells, Treatment Plant
Featured Illustration (above): The city of Bastrop is preparing to develop new water production and quality facilities in undeveloped former ranch land northwest of town. Image: City of Bastrop
By Edmond Ortiz
Bastrop (Bastrop County)—The city of Bastrop is going forward with a $38 million initiative to build new water quality facilities in the XS Ranch development, including a new water treatment plant.
City Council on June 23 approved a task order that authorizes the firm Freese and Nichols to carry out engineering services for the new facilities, which will be built north of Sayers Road inside the proposed XS Ranch development.
The city of Bastrop has spent months pre-planning for new water and wastewater facilities to shore up its long-term water supply and quality systems.
Consulting engineers determined that drought and water quality issues pose a risk to the city’s existing alluvial wells at the Willow and Bob Bryant plants.
The new facilities planned for construction inside XS Ranch will feed into the city’s existing Willow plant, which will undergo upgrades. Image: City of Bastrop
Freese and Nichols’ scope of work includes final design, procurement, construction and post-construction phases services for three new deep groundwater wells, groundwater treatment facilities, ground storage tank, transmission pump station and piping, and a wastewater lift station and force main.
A fourth water well in the same area will be planned for construction later.
The city plans to use a Request for Qualifications and a Request for Proposals to contract with a construction-manager-at-risk for the overall project.
Construction work is tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-2021 and last up to two years.
The city and consultants estimate it will cost $9.92 million to build a new water treatment plant, $5.5 million to build a transmission main, and $7.8 million to develop the well field infrastructure.
Additional cost estimates include $5.82 million for transmission pump station, $3.5 million for a wastewater lift station and force main, and $640,000 for electrical backup generators.
Each of the three new wells will be designed to pump and send 930 gallons of Simsboro Aquifer water per minute to the new plant. That water would be channeled through a 22,000-foot transmission pipe to the existing Willow plant before entering the citywide distribution system.
According to city staff, there could be two “early out” bid packages. The $38 million figure includes $4.84 million that the city will pay Freese and Nichols for their services. Revenue and certificate bonds would be used to finance the entire project.
Freese and Nichols will also prepare a master plan and provide recommendations for storage and pumping facilities improvements at the existing Willow water plant site, and additional upgrades throughout the city’s distribution system to meet current and future demands.
VBX members may track this project using ID number: 2020-4D95.
The 8,700-acre XS Ranch has long been touted as a proposed master-planned community, but bankruptcy and changes in property ownership have prevented any progress toward development.
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.