The water treatment plant in Graham is getting some upgrades.
“The existing plant has some mechanical and structural issues,” David Casteel, the City Manager said, “It was built in the early 80's and a lot of the components have outlived their design life.”
This is why they are spending $9.8-million to expand the facility and repair some of the existing parts.
"We're adding two, three million gallons a day clarifiers over here to expand our plant," he said.
This brings the city's production capacity from around six-million gallons of water a day to 10-million gallons of water a day. Casteel said this is something they need since they provide water to other parts of Texoma.
"We have about 15,000 total customers between Graham, Bryson, Newcastle, Throckmorton, and all the rural areas that we serve," he said.
These are the two reasons for doing the project. Supply, demand and repairs.
Casteel said the city got $14.5-million approved a few years ago for water improvement projects and this is one of them.
The construction of the expansion is just phase one of the project.
He said, "After that project is complete sometime next late next year or early 2016 we'll go in and rehabilitate the existing plant that we have."
Casteel said the second phase of the project depends on mother nature.
"If it doesn't rain, then we'll need to use that same money to acquire more water to bring it here and take to town," Casteel said.
He said they are looking into other water sources. This includes water wells. He explained they have already drilled 10 test wells and are looking to build 10 more.
"That should supplement use with 500,000 to 600,000 gallons a day if we do that," Casteel said.
He said the city is also looking into bringing in the outgoing water from the sewer back to the lake. He said right not that water goes to Possum Kingdom.
"We're in the process of acquiring the permits to do that. That too looks promising. We should be able to get that implemented in this next year," Casteel said.
He said they have water rights out of Possum Kingdom Lake and are looking to bring water to Graham from there.
"The only problem is that water there is very salty compared to the water we're used to so we would have to add another treatment step in the process," he said.
That process would be similar to the water reuse project in Wichita Falls. However, he said it might take the wells, the effluent, and the Possum Kingdom project to add up to the amount of emergency water they would need.
For now, Graham expects to go into stage four water restrictions by mid-February. Those restrictions would make it so residents can't water outside except with a handheld house once an hour per day. However, that will have to be approved by city council during their meeting on Thursday.