BY CHRISTINA DERR
In order to better understand whether the city would benefit from the drilling of two water wells it authorized last year, the Springtown City Council voted Aug. 6 for the engineering firm Pacheco Koch to complete a comprehensive water supply and treatment study.
City Administrator David Miller recommended its approval, saying it would allow the council to make better-informed decisions about the city’s water supply options in the future.
“This allows us to go back to do some much-needed homework to see if the wells are needed, when they should be built, and at what point in time do we look at improving the filtration system at the water treatment plant,” Miller said.
In addition to completing analyses that are TCEQ requirements, the firm will be charged with capacity studies.
Miller said, “We have had a significant water loss this last year. This helps us to capture where some of those losses are coming from when they’re caused by misread meters.
“It helps to do a future capacity study, which tells us where we need to be for the next five, 10, 15, and 20 years.”
Pacheco Koch will also look at adding a Trident filter system to the water treatment plant, which would help increase water pressure – a consistent issue throughout the city, Miller said.
Other items included in the study include storage.
“If we’re going to drill wells, where are we going to put the additional water? It is important that we know all that information,” Miller explained.
For long-term planning, Miller said the firm would examine what pieces of the infrastructure is in need of “immediate rehabilitation” as opposed to what can be fixed or improved further in the future.
Overall Miller said he has high hopes for the study: “It is a more comprehensive study compared to what was offered to us by the previous engineering firm (Freese and Nichols).”
That firm recommended drilling the wells to supplement the water supply.
The council did just that last November and authorized $1.4 million in loans from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) through their State Water Implementation Fund for Texas program.
Miller said previously that he’s spoken with TWDB officials, and if the city decides to not proceed with the wells, they will be able to spend the funds on other water-system-related improvements without financial penalty.
Council member Bill White questioned whether the study would affect the amount of water the city is contractually obligated to purchase from its main supplier, Tarrant Regional Water District.
Because, White said, “There is no sense in doing these wells if we still have to buy all that water.”
Miller said the annual TRWD purchases would be factored into the study, and that consideration is important in deciding whether the wells would be beneficial after all.
“That’s one the reasons we are going to do this study.”
Miller added, “We haven’t been drawing down that full 60 million annually, and we need to be able to capitalize on that first.”
The council approved the study, which comes with a price tag of $15,000 – monies Miller said exist in the current 2017-18 budget – pending review by the city attorney.