Alliance Water eyes $227M wastewater facility

Improving infrastructure for a rapidly growing area is a primary factor in the Alliance Regional Water Authority’s (ARWA) plan to construct a $227.75 million-plus wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) facility.

While the price tag is high, Kyle city leaders are supporting the premise of a cross-city partnership that could help to finance the facility, which could have a final build-out capacity of 13 million gallons/day.

Graham Moore, Alliance Regional Water Authority general manager, said May 1 the entire project is estimated to cost about $227.75 million in 2017 dollars, a price he said is more cost-efficient than renovating two existing plants. Of that total price, Kyle would tentatively be responsible for paying around $60 million.

“I think our council is concerned with prudent, long-term planning and budgeting wisely,” Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said. “It’s not fun to think about spending money, but we have to have wastewater.”

It is almost always cheaper to tackle large-scale infrastructure projects with a regional mindset, Mitchell said. A previous study done supports the notion that going in on the wastewater treatment plant together will be cheaper for Kyle, San Marcos and the other partners.

“I firmly believe a regional plant is the right decision. It will just take time to flesh out the details, and it will take a lot of planning and strategy to come together,” Mitchell said.
The wastewater treatment will need to be at a location with a few specific features, Moore said.

The land where the facility is to be located should be at least 20 acres in size and out of the flood plain. A likely area is west of Hemphill Creek and Morrison Creek toward Martindale, but nothing is set in stone yet, Moore said.

However, planning for the facility is still years away. Mitchell said there has been talk of tentatively rolling out the first phase in 2028.

The project will also evolve through the years, and sponsors and estimated costs will probably change.

“What matters is we work on it now, so when the time comes, we can roll out the most efficient project possible,” Mitchell said. “The main takeaway is that we’re planning ahead, way ahead. And that’s the responsible thing to do.”

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