City Administrator Richard Tramm said the projects are in response to growth in the city as officials seek to stay on top of water capacity before the expected growth requires more capacity for the city’s infrastructure.
“It looks like we will more than double in population in five or six years,” Tramm said.
He said the city’s wastewater use has reached 45% of its capacity, while water use is at 35%-40% of capacity. The state requires a municipality to begin planning for plant expansion once use reaches 75% of capacity. To plan for growth, Tramm said the city is discussing expansion options on top of ongoing projects.
“We’re in a good place right now, but we’re looking at [capacity] over the next several years, and we want to stay ahead of all the growth that’s coming in,” Tramm said.
The expansion of Water Plant No. 3 will be completed by mid-May, but Tramm said there is a need for water capacity on the west side of the city, where a new water plant and possible elevated storage tank may be added.
Engineer Chris Roznovsky, who has been working with the city on the 15-year infrastructure plan including water and wastewater needs, said in an email that a new water plant would cost around $5.75 million, but he does not expect construction to begin for at least 18 months as the project is still in the planning stage. A new wastewater plant would cost around $8 million depending on its size and location, he said, and funding for the wastewater plant has not yet been determined. Funds could be provided by impact fees paid by developers, bonds or other funding sources such as the Texas Water Development Board.
Roznovsky said the city is looking at an old water plant site the city already owns and maintains a permit for, located on FM 149 just south of Lone Star Parkway. Tramm said the new water and wastewater plants are anticipated to be active and in production in three to four years and three to 3 1/2 years, respectively.
“At the moment, we have plenty of excess capacity, but we also have a lot of developments coming in over the next several years,” Tramm said.