Progress Made on Hickory Aquifer Project

The City of San Angelo has been authorized to begin blending water from the Hickory Aquifer with water from the city's surface supply; now, the question remains when will that water begin running through our faucets.

We talked with city officials today to discuss how soon the city will begin blending the Hickory water, but they say they are still weighing the best way to treat the blended water.

Another step towards completing the Hickory Aquifer Project started Wednesday as nine tanks that will remove radium from the Hickory water were installed.

Connie Gonzalez reports...

The City of San Angelo is one step closer to bringing water from the Hickory Aquifer to our faucets, following approval by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality to begin blending water from Hickory Aquifer with city's surface supply.

Water Utilities Assistant Director, Kevin Krueger, says the city does not have an exact time frame right now as to when the blending will start.

"We are looking at all the processed controls and trying to fine tune those controls to determine how exactly we will do the blending."

City officials say only 2 million (M) gallons of Hickory water would be added to every 10 million (M) gallons from Ivie Reservoir.

"One of the things we're evaluating is, is it better to use the water now or would it better to wait," Krueger said.

Workers started another phase of the Groundwater Treatment Facility, Wednesday, by installing tanks that will remove radium from the Hickory Aquifer water.

"They're very critical. They will be the tanks that will bring the radiation levels down to liable limits for the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality)," City Worker, Russell Pehl, said.

A total of twelve tanks that hold the ion exchange material will be used to filter the water.

"The total removal will be $8 million (M) gallons a day; that's the total capacity of all 12 tanks. The next phase is bringing in the other to remove the iron and putting in the oxygen into the water to help remove the iron out of the system," Pehl said.

Right now, the City of San Angelo has a 14 month water supply. When that drops to 12 months, stage three water restrictions will go into effect.

"We need to look at the big picture of where our water supplies are," Krueger said.

Without rainfall, Ivie Reservoir is projected to be depleted in November; which is also when construction for the Groundwater Treatment Facility is scheduled to be complete.

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