San Angelo’s “Superior” public water system


San Angelo’s public water system is rated as “Superior” by the state of Texas. As the city prepares to develop new water sources — and as part of that project, upgrade water treatment facilities — people may wonder whether the upgrades are otherwise strictly necessary.

“If we didn’t have the upcoming upgrades,” said water plant operations manager Tymn Combest, “we would still meet the superior water system designation as long as we continue to follow the TCEQ regulations and run the system the way that we currently are.”

The city has already proven it can account for new water sources which require special attention, having already begun filtering water from the Hickory Aquifer. The successful filtration of the water coming into San Angelo from the Hickory Aquifer is extraordinarily important if the city us going to maintain its superior water system rating.

An additional plant was constructed to filter out the iron and radium present in Hickory Aquifer water.
That plant takes the levels from their native thirty-five picocuries of radium and 0.5 milligrams of iron per liter of water, down to less than one picocurie and 0.01 milligrams respectively, exceeding the TCEQ safety requirements of five picocuries of radium and 0.3 milligrams of iron. San Angelo’s superior rating has been upheld for roughly two decades due to the hard work of the city water plant and staff. Hard work, that may soon get a lot easier.

“The upgrades that are coming will probably include micro filtration,” said Combest, “making it easier for us to meet turbidity requirements and maintain our Superior Water System designation.”

San Angelo’s next TCEQ audit is in September 2019. Since the last inspection, the Hickory plant will have been online for some time serving the community, and the wastewater reclamation project will be moving forward.

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