San Angelo has decided on pursuing the Concho River Reclamation Project as the city’s new source of water.
Next are a number of steps the city must take to make it a reality. Once the application is submitted and all information is provided, the city has to is respond to questions and comments from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
There are also requirements for public notice, which allows time for residents to view and comment on the plans. Allison Strube, the water utilities director for the City of San Angelo elaborated on the timeline saying, “in regards to the estimated timeline, right now we’re in the permitting process. We are pursuing both a discharge permit and a ‘bed and banks’ permit. Those can take anywhere from three to five years — that is what the city is actively pursuing.”
Afterwards, the TCEQ will review the application to make sure it complies with all the regulatory requirements. As part of this review, evaluations to make sure that water quality standards will be met and what impacts to the designated uses of the river are performed.
The overall budget of the project is an estimated $120 million.
Commenting on the cost estimate, Strube explained “the water treatment plant and the waste-water treatment plant upgrades are a large portion of the $120 million, and those upgrades are needed and required no matter what project we pursue. This project dollar amount is including necessary upgrades for those plants.”
One upgrade is micro-filtration, which will not only bring the plant into the twenty-first century in terms of technology, but will make maintaining San Angelo’s ‘superior public water system’ rating easier.
The project is expected to deliver seven million gallons per day to San Angelo water taps once complete.
“With the water the city already has and the Hickory Aquifer, coupled with the Concho River Water Supply Project,” said Strube, “these supplies are projected to take the city into 2070 in terms of water supply needs.”
Good news for a city steadily growing, with new businesses finding homes here, and a population that has grown tenfold over the last century.
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