SAN ANGELO, Texas — The City of San Angelo’s Water Department is under construction as they grow the Hickory Groundwater Treatment Plant. The current system gathers and filters 8 million gallons of water per day but will grow that number to 12 million by this time 2024.
City of San Angelo’s Director of Water Utilities, Allison Strube says, “At this treatment plant we treat the groundwater which has iron and radionuclides in it. So this plant treats out both those contaminants.”
This aquifer specifically pulls water from the Hickory Sands Aquifer 15 miles south of Melvin. The water is transited from Hickory Sands to San Angelo’s Groundwater Treatment Plant off Avenue I in the city, through 62 miles of 30-inch pipeline.
Once at the treatment facility, the raw water- holding all contaminants and toxins- goes through a five-step filtration process before being retained in a vat. This vat is then distributed through the city’s pipelines.
The Water Treatment Process
During the first step, the raw water gets oxygen ingested into the pipeline which makes the water and iron start to separate as the iron begins to solidify.
Then the water enters the second step where the water filters through a sand-like substance that pulls the metal from the water.
After that, it is pushed into the ion exchange process in which the water’s chemical bonds remove the radio-nuclides.
The final step is the chlorination process- all water in the city has amounts of chlorine gas in it which keeps the water safe for use.
Since this is a 24/7 cycle of water coming in, being treated, and leaving; the water that is not being used at the moment is held in clear storage units and water towers as extra supply to be pumped around the city.
The city is able to work on the Hickory Groundwater Project because they are pulling 90% of our current water from O.H. Ivie lake reservoir.