E.V. Spence pipeline rehabilitation still on table for future


Following up on public questioning in regards to why the city of San Angelo decided to pursue the Concho River Reclamation Project, Mayor Brenda Gunter published an op-ed article explaining the city’s decision making process.

The process began in 2012 when the city, with the help of an engineering firm, developed a list of two dozen water source options — one of those options was the repairing of a pipeline between E.V. Spence reservoir and San Angelo.

Chuck Brown, Operations Director for the Upper Colorado River Authority explained “in 2012 the UCRA created a funding mechanism from the Texas Water Development Board — it was a regional water plan that looked at various water supply options — one of the options was to refurbish the E.V. Spence pipeline. There’s a pipeline that flows from E.V. Spence to San Angelo, and the cost to refurbish that pipeline in 2012 was between $20 and $25 million.”

San Angelo water utility director Allison Strube points out the rehabbing of the pipeline and building of a necessary additional pumping station would come to roughly $20 million, the city’s water plants would still need upgrades, at additional cost not included as part of the $20-$25M of the pipeline price. “There’s been discussion about the Spence pipeline being rehabbed now that Spence has more water in it,” said Strube. “It was one of the many options that the city did analyze in its most recent water study. It is a cheaper cost than to replace the line itself, but i think it is important to note that even while rehabbing the Spence line, we still would spend close to $120 million dollars overall because of needed improvements at the water treatment plant and the wastewater treatment plant.”

Strube went on to say that while the city is moving ahead with the Concho River Water Project, the Spence pipeline is not off the table completely for future consideration. Both she and Brown stated that the city has acquired rights to E.V. Spence water which simplifies future development of that option. Additionally, recent water gains at the Spence reservoir have led to a boost in water quality, making that water even more appealing as a future source.

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