Pflugerville City Council unanimously approved a $537,000 purchase for the replacement of water treatment membranes during council's May 12 meeting.

The purchase from ZENON Environmental Corp., known as SUEZ, will replace Train No. 3 of the city's water treatment plant.

Pflugerville's water treatment plant has five trains, with Train No. 3 being the oldest, Public Utility Director Brandon Pritchett confirmed to council.

Pritchett said there has been "significant damage" to Train No. 3 due to the presence of zebra mussels; this led to the slicing of the water membrane modules that has warranted a full replacement.

Water membranes assist with the treatment plant's filtration system. Pritchett added that given the damage, a repair would not guarantee the membranes would be in compliance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's guidelines, whereas a replacement would.

Pritchett said the replacement of Train No. 3 would help ensure that the city is able to meet its peak water demands, typically seen during the months of July and August.

The cost of replacement modules through SUEZ is guaranteed for 20 years, Pritchett said. Based on the city's original procurement of the modules in 2003, the modules are guaranteed through 2023.

Trains No. 1 and 2 were replaced last year, Pritchett said. Replacements for Trains No. 4 and 5 are budgeted for fiscal years 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively.

Given the damages to the trains caused by zebra mussels, Pritchett said the city is prioritizing budgeting repairs and replacements in the coming fiscal years.

“We don’t want it to be a surprise in the future," Pritchett said.