Council members approved the future construction of a concrete package plant, an expansion that will cost the city $7.8 million. The project is slated to have a design phase of 9 to 12 months and a construction period of 15 to 18 months, according to meeting information.
This expansion will raise the city’s wastewater treatment capacity up to 2 million gallons of water per day and 6,660 connections, or users to the city’s water plant, which will allow it to meet service needs through 2025 or 2026, city officials said.
“[With] a concrete package plant, the actual structure will last longer,” said Kelly Hajek, a project administrator with Strand Associates. “You will eventually have to replace parts of it—the internal guts of the treatment plant—but overall, you still have your structure there.”
As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, the wastewater treatment service expansions come in preparation for future growth and development expected to come to Magnolia in the next 20 years.
The city’s Nichols Sawmill Road wastewater treatment plant facility, located at 30910 Nichols Sawmill Road, Magnolia, currently manages 650,000 gallons of water per day and has 2,165 connections. According to Hajek, the city had at least 1,800 connections remaining as of July.
The facility’s ongoing $9.97 million expansion project, which began in fall 2019, will expand capacity to 1.3 million gallons per day and 4,330 connections by spring 2021. Considering future growth, Hajek said this first expansion should withstand service capacity through 2023.
Council members have been hesitant to approve plans of expansion in the past, due to uncertainties in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision to approve a second expansion to the Nichols Sawmill plant comes as an alternative to the construction of a future wastewater treatment plant on Mill Creek Road, an estimated $38 million project that would have an 18-month design period and two years of construction. That plan was first presented to council in April.
“As I've said in the past, we kept aiming toward that large plan—I just don't think we could pay the bill on it,” Magnolia Mayor Todd Kana said. “We have a lot more people wanting our wastewater treatment than just Audubon [Magnolia], ... so we are looking at expansion regardless of how we work out the bill.”