City of Buda nearing construction of Phase III for Wastewater Plant

Buda’s latest expansion of its wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) could be constructed within the next 24 months, according to a July 3 presentation.   

Buda’s City Engineer John Nett and Marty Rumbaugh, a representative with AECOM, an engineering firm helping on the project, gave city council an update on the Phase III expansion of the current WWTP. Nett said the expansion is necessary to meet the city’s future growth.

“The current phase of WWTP expansion is to meet the city’s wastewater treatment needs through projected buildout of the city of Buda west of IH-35,” Nett said in an email.

An earlier Phase II of the city’s expansion of the WWTP grew the plant’s capacity from 0.95 MGD to 1.5 million gallons per day (MGD).

Recently, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) “re-rated” the plant’s capacity up to 1.75 MGD. The city’s goal is to design a symmetrical expansion of the current system, which will bring the plant’s capacity to 3.5 MGD. This would max out the predicted build-out capacity of the plant.

“The WWTP re-rating study affirmed that existing volumetric treatment capacity can be gained with selected plant process and control adjustments,” Nett said.

Nett added that the rerating is “a cost effective and prudent measure that leverages existing capital assets with minor enhancement,” and allows for a larger wastewater treatment capacity for the city while the Phase III project is under construction. 

With the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permit issued in March for the plant’s new capacity, the city is only waiting on the final review of specs and design documents to be completed before putting the project out to bid.

The cost estimate for the total Phase III project is $19,846,000. The project did see a rise in its cost estimate due to an increase in concrete prices. The new cost estimate includes a 25 percent increase of the project’s contingency cost plus the escalation of the concrete costs.

Rumbaugh said the job could be bid out as soon as the end of July and start construction by August or September. The project is estimated to take 24 months to be constructed.

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