Feature Photo (above): Little Barton Creek at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park. Image: Google Streets/Neil Melancon.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Dripping Springs (Hays County) — The Texas Water Development Board approved today almost $49.7 million in financial assistance that will support four rural water and wastewater system projects.
The largest beneficiary of the Wednesday morning session was Dripping Springs in Hays County. The TWDB provided $43,395,000 in financing and $1 million in principal forgiveness.
Less than half of the city’s 3,876 residents receive wastewater service. The remainder are on septic systems.
The Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation provides service to the city and a larger surrounding area that has a total population of about 9,000. Moreover, the corporation anticipates a projected population of 18,500 in its service area by 2030.
“To serve this area, the city’s wastewater system capacity would be exceeded by 2022,” a staff report to the TWDB stated.
Dripping Springs officials have already executed wastewater utility agreements with developers that add up to 75 percent of the 4,640 “additional living unit equivalents” that are to be added to the city’s service area by 2028.
“To meet the increased demand for wastewater service the City is requesting a multi-year commitment to finance the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, upgrades and expansion of its existing wastewater treatment plant, and expansion of its collection system to serve developments in and around the City,” the report said.
- $23.5 million proposed series 2019
- $1 million principal forgiveness
- $9.5 million proposed series 2020
- $10.395 million proposed series 2021
“In addition, the project includes construction of a new water treatment plant and distribution system to provide direct potable reuse water.”
The City proposes to construct a new 500,000 gallons-per-day (gpd) wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and increase capacity of the existing 315,500 gpd WWTP to 500,000 gpd.
At the WWTPs site, the City will also construct an effluent holding pond and treated effluent pump station and abandon its existing drip irrigation fields and construct surface irrigation. To expand the capacity of its collection system, the City will extend an interceptor and 8-inch force main, improve a regional lift station, and construct a gravity wastewater line and interceptor.
The City will also construct a 500,000 gpd water treatment plant for direct potable reuse of treated effluent from its proposed wastewater treatment plant.
The engineering feasibility report will be complete next week. The design phase is to be concluded Aug. 16 and construction is scheduled to start Sept. 30. Construction should be completed by Dec. 3, 2024.
The Upper Jasper County Water Authority was approved for $3,355,000 in financing for the planning, design and construction of a water system improvement project.
The water authority’s water source is south of the Angelina River. Its 10-inch aerial crossing line is old and has failed several times, causing water cut-offs to 370 households.
The water authority will drill a new well north of the river and replace 11,000 feet of water lines and a 10,000-gallon transfer storage tank.
Engineering begins this summer. The design phase won’t be done until Aug. 15, 2020 and the construction phase is from Dec. 15, 2020 to Dec. 15, 2021.
Palo Pinto County
The Palo Pinto Water Supply Corporation will get $1.63 million in assistance to replace deteriorated water lines. The construction phase is scheduled to run from Jan. 15, 2020 to Aug. 15, 2020.
The Candelaria Water Supply Corporation received $300,000 in principal forgiveness. Candelaria, an unincorporated community near Farm Road 170 and 42 miles west of Marfa, was issued an administrative order from the Environmental Protection Agency for exceeding the maximum contaminant level for arsenic.
In addition, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recorded disinfection levels below the minimum for free chlorine and chloramines.
The TWDB assistance frees the county to evaluate two wells for arsenic.
“Absent any blending options, the proposed project will evaluate, pilot and construct an arsenic removal treatment facility to meet primary drinking water standards. An asset management plan will also be completed to allow for improved system management.”
Engineering and design will be completed this summer. Construction should take place from Nov. 1, 2019 to march 31, 2020.