DCS Engineering: coding error responsible for Pflugerville water treatment violation

Pflugerville City Council addressed next steps at its. Jan. 14 work session following its Jan. 10 Tier 2 violation from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville)
Pflugerville City Council addressed next steps at its. Jan. 14 work session following its Jan. 10 Tier 2 violation from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville)

Pflugerville City Council addressed next steps at its. Jan. 14 work session following its Jan. 10 Tier 2 violation from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville)

A coding error in Pflugerville Surface Water Treatment Plant's regulations system was responsible for the city's Dec. 24 water treatment issue, according to Darren Strozewski of DCS Engineering, an engineering consultant firm based in Travis County. The programming error occurred during a 2.5 hour time frame on Dec. 24, potentially affected 80,000 gallons of water, or 2% of the city's daily water usage, according to a Jan. 13 city news release.

“This was not a recurrence that I wanted to happen," Strozewski said before council at its Jan. 14 meeting.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a Tier 2 violation to the city of Pflugerville Jan. 10 for its programming error—specifically, that Train No. 2 in the city's water treatment plant incorrectly identified had passed a membrane integrity test. The Tier 2 violation, Strozewski said, does not suggest that the city's water supply has been compromised, adding it is safe for residents to consume.

The plant's automated system regularly performs a direct membrane integrity tests once a week. For TCEQ's direct membrane integrity tests, water supply passes the exam if it is less than .33 pounds per square inch per minute, or PSI.

Train No. 2 had a registered amount of 0.35 PSI/minute, but the city's software system—owned by SUEZ Water Technologies—incorrectly reported the test had passed and returned the train to water production. The city has since been manually testing each of the treatment plant's membrane integrity exams to ensure that the error is not repeated, City Manager Sereniah Breland said. In addition, SUEZ has already worked with DCS Engineering to update the coding formula in the city's current water plant software.

Breland said the city has performed membrane repairs on Trains No. 1, 2 and 4; replaced the city's river pumps, with three now online and a fourth purchased; submitted to TCEQ a contact time study to ensure that the treatment plant's water is effectively administering chlorine to kill viruses; have relocated its Manville Water Company distribution line; and went out for quotes on standard operating procedures.

Moving forward, Council Member Doug Weiss requested Breland present quarterly public updates on the city's asset management processes, including tracking equipment, program implementation and the equipment's life cycle and durability.
By Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.


A teal graphic that reads "Today's coronavirus updates"
Travis County sees 572 new coronavirus cases

Meanwhile, Austin Public Health staff are readying the Austin Convention Center as a field hospital.

Extracurricular activities, including band, orchestra, sports and theater, have been suspended until at least September. (Courtesy Round Rock ISD)
Round Rock ISD cancels summer camps, extracurricular activities

The decision follows a July 14 Travis County order which suspends on-campus instruction for all public and private schools until at least Sept. 7.

Williamson County reported its highest daily coronavirus-related death count with 5 on July 15. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Williamson County reports highest daily coronavirus-related death count with 5 on July 15

Williamson County also reported 174 additional cases, bringing the total to 4,327.

The Austin Convention Center will be ready to begin operations as a field hospital and start accepting patients July 21, according to Dr. Jason Pickett, the Austin-Travis County alternate health authority. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Convention Center will be ready July 21 to accept patients, even as COVID-19 hospitalization numbers offer 'glimmer of hope'

The daily hospitalization rate of COVID-19 patients has leveled off, but public health officials said it is too early to say whether the plateau will continue or if hospitalization rates will continue the upward trajectory they were on in June and early July.

As the start of the fall 2020 semester nears, questions loom about education amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
8 things parents, teachers should know as Round Rock ISD readies official plan for fall 2020

Round Rock ISD staff is preparing to release official plans later this week. In the meantime, here is an early look at the direction in which the district is headed for the fall.

Emergency behavioral health calls doubled in Williamson County year over year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Emergency behavioral health calls double in Williamson County year over year

People can call the statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line seven days a week at 833-986-1919.

Gov. Abbott: Texas Education Agency to extend online learning option for school districts in 2020-21 school year

Texas school districts may be able to continue online learning for longer than three weeks, according to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Walmart and Sam's Club leaders announced in a press release July 15 all stores nationwide will require shoppers to wear a face covering beginning July 20. (Courtesy Walmart)
UPDATED: Kroger joins Walmart, Sam's Club in requiring face coverings in all stores

Additionally, all Walmart stores will have a single entrance beginning July 20.

Pflugerville City Council has outlined three propositions for its November bond election: a roadway projects package, a parks and recreation projects package and a senior and recreation center package. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Roads, parks, recreation center: Pflugerville works to firm up $191M November bond package

Pflugerville City Council has taken the next step in solidifying proposed bond packages for its November election, outlining three propositions: roadway projects, parks projects and a recreation center.

Amazon, originally denoted in city documents as Project Charm, is expected to bring 1,000 new, full-time jobs to Pflugerville. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
NEW: Amazon to bring 1,000 jobs to Pflugerville in 2021

"Pflugerville is a bustling area, and the addition of this fulfillment center with over 1,000 jobs shows that Pflugerville is the new frontier in Central Texas," Mayor Victor Gonzales said in the release.

The Confederate soldier monument is located in front of the Williamson County Courthouse. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
PHOTOS: Protests for removal of Confederate statue on Georgetown Square continue

The statue was installed in 1916 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Its presence has been the source of some contention for the last few years by those who say it glorifies racism and white supremacy.