Wichita Falls city staff are preparing the next necessary submission to The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in order to mix treated waste water with lake water. The Falls is one of only 3 communities in Texas working on a waste water alternative.
Newschannel 6 reached out to city leaders and public works employees in the city of Brownwood Texas to find out what their experience was like working with the TCEQ. In a word, it was lengthy. Brownwood's Utility Director David Harris said the city started their conversation with the TCEQ in November 2011, submitted their first paperwork in May 2012 and had approval in December of that year. Now, they're just waiting on the City Council to approve construction, and the cost.
Russell Schreiber with the City of Wichita Falls Public Works Department said they began discussions with the TCEQ in April of last year, but didn't submit their first round of paperwork until about four or five months ago.
The next step is the Preliminary Engineering Report, which the city plans to submit later this week or early next week. After that, there's still more waiting to do. Schreiber said, "We do anticipate there being some back and forth and some questions and answers we need to do with them. Its a document that barely fits into a four inch binder so its huge document. Its going to take them a little bit of time to get through it and review it."
Schreiber and the Wichita Falls City Council are hoping for approval sometime next month, with construction starting shortly after. If they can get the pumping station started by August, the city hopes to have the system up and running by next spring.
The system consists of 12 miles of pipe running from the River Road Waste Water Treatment Facility to the Cypress Water Treatment Plant, where it will be mixed 50/50 with lake water and treated again.
The total cost of the project is estimated at around 13 million and Schreiber says the city staff has already started working with the Bond Council to figure out financing.
Stay with Newschannel 6 as we continue to cover this story.