I&GN Water Tower:
After the trouble we had last summer, the Board of Directors authorized the design and construction of a new elevated storage tank. The bids came in much higher than expected - a total of over $4.4 million which is being paid out of reserves generated by the District's impact fee. Construction began in April and the column of the tower can be seen from Wellborn road as of July 2023. The tower will add 1 million gallons of elevated storage to the system and is expected to be online for the summer of 2024.
Our main issue in the summer is that when we all run our sprinklers at the same time, we use far more water than our wells and pumps can move into the system. When use more than we put in, the balance has to come from storage. If we double the storage, we can last twice as long when everyone waters at once.
2020 System Improvements Project
In 2018 the District began work on a long term water supply expansion project to accommodate the rapid growth our area has been experiencing. The goal was to build expandable infrastructure to handle growth for the next twenty years. The estimated cost of the necessary improvements was much higher than any project that the District has ever attempted, and so it was decided to secure funding through a state agency to minimize interest rates as much as possible. The state funding process takes time, and the pandemic slowed it down drastically. It was a much longer journey than expected, but in June 2022 the Texas Water Development Board approved a $43,455,000 bond issuance under its D-FUND program to finance a large expansion to the District’s production capacity. The money is in the bank right now, so we are finally at full speed and moving ahead with the final stages of design and state review. While working to secure financing, work was also progressing on the more time-consuming components of the project. At this point, most of the design and surveying is done, water rights have been purchased, drilling permits have been approved, and much of the pipeline right-of-way has been paid for or donated.
The project includes the development of a new wellfield, a large pump station, ground storage tanks, and a 30” transmission pipeline. The wellfield will be developed under water rights which the District has purchased from local land owners. Two 2,000 gallon per minute wells are included in the first phase, which will double our current production capacity and eliminate our reliance on water purchased from the cities. Facilities will be sized to accommodate additional future wells for a total anticipated production rate of 18.1 million gallons per day, which is projected to accommodate growth out to 2040. Emergency generators will be included for each well and pump station, which will allow us to operate without interruption during power outages.
July 2023 Update:
Design is complete and the state environmental review is in progress. Environmental approval is expected late September, and then the project can be reviewed by TCEQ and TWDB. Once their approvals are in, we can advertise for construction bids. Our engineers are hopeful to be able to start the bid process in January 2024 with the goal of completing construction for Summer 2025.