Feature Photo: The Rio Grande City Water Filtration Plant on East Water Street. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
Rio Grande City (Starr County) — Almost $7.5 million in state financial assistance was approved today to help Rio Grande City double its wastewater treatment capacity from 1.5 to 3 million gallons per day.
The city’s existing treatment plant was built in 2009, and its sludge drying beds haven’t kept pace with peak discharge flows. The city used the plant’s oxidation ditches as sludge holding ponds, in violation of the plant’s permit.
Rehabilitating aged and deteriorated equipment, and installation of a new aeration system on the oxidation ditches will increase the plant’s treatment capacity by 1.5 MGD.
The scope of work includes rehabilitating the clarifiers, headworks, disinfection system, and master lift station; replacing undersized and aging yard piping on the plant site; updating the plant’s electrical controls; demolishing existing old concrete structures on the plant site; and other necessary improvements that will increase the operational efficiency of the plant.
At its Thursday regular meeting, the Texas Water Development Board passed a resolution for $7,495,615. The assistance consists of $5,410,000 in financing and $2,085,615 in principal forgives from the Clean Water State Revolving fund. The monies are to be used for planning, design and construction of the treatment plant upgrades.
The budget statement sets aside $410,000 for planning, design and engineering. The construction budget was estimated at $5,981,338. Special and financial services, and the contingency fund take up the remainder.
The engineering feasibility report is scheduled for completion by Feb. 1, 2021. The design phase should be finished by June 30, 2021. Construction is estimated to begin Oct. 1, 2021 and take 25 months to complete.
The VBX Project ID number is 2020-3ED1.