The Archer City water treatment plant has become a liability, which is why the City Council of Archer City decided a few weeks ago to build a new one. The current plant was built in 1959 with a limited amount of equipment. If some of the equipment breaks down than the city would have a big problem on their hands.
If one part of the major components goes down than we could lose our ability to produce water. That's one of the major reasons why we were looking at building a new one," said City Manager of Archer City George Huffman.
Things have been going well at the plant, so Huffman doesn't think they're going to have any big problems before the new facility is built. But the city does have a backup plan just in case.
Huffman said, "If we had a major malfunction at the plant our only option would be to have water hauled in."
The new plant will not only take away the city's water worries by having more and newer equipment. It will also allow for the city to pay less for their water.
Huffman said Archer City buys untreated water from Lake Kickapoo, which is why they can buy water at a cheaper rate. Cities that buy treated water pay a lot more.
Just because the city won't be paying more for water doesn't mean the residents water bills won't go up. The new plant is going to cost over $8 million and will be paid for by a loan and grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA mandates that repayments from Archer City must come from water revenue, so Archer City residents should expect to see an increase in their water bills as soon as October.
Archer City water bills will top out at around $40 per meter, said Huffman.
The city doesn't know when they're going to start construction, but Huffman thinks it's going to be within the next year or so. The new plant will be located just east of the current facility.
Even though there is going to be a new water plant. Huffman said residents shouldn't necessarily expect a better quality of water. The new facility is just going to make sure water will be continually treated for the city.