Just over a year after an excess of water flowing into a regional wastewater treatment facility resulted in disturbances to Brushy Creek, Round Rock officials are working toward improving the treatment plant's filtration.

Current situation

Round Rock officials July 27 approved a $1.6 million purchase for tertiary filters to be used at the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility East Plant, which is currently undergoing expansion to accommodate the growing populations of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock. Through its partnership with these cities, Round Rock will contribute $1.02 million to the total cost of the project, about 60%.

Once the expansion comes online in September, city officials say the plant will be able to accommodate up to 30 million gallons of wastewater per day. Based on the increased capacity, tightened wastewater regulations will make the additional filtration of effluent necessary. The filters approved for purchase will bring the total filter capacity of the plant to 54 MGD.

The backstory

In March 2022, an excess of water flowing into the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority's wastewater system led to an increase in treated effluent flowing into Brushy Creek, as clarifying filters at the east wastewater treatment plant were overwhelmed. The heightened inflows prompted the city to lead a regional effort inspecting water lines throughout partner cities. At the time, city officials shared plans to implement additional filters to help prevent future incidents.

Stay tuned

The purchase authorized by council is a prepurchase, as the specialized equipment requires long lead times to procure once ordered. Design for the project is currently underway. It is not yet determined when the filters will be installed.