By Betsy Dolan
Missouri City officials unveiled their brand new $49.5 million dollar Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, June 12 and, if the city’s projections are correct, lower water costs for residents. The new plant, which is off Bees Road in Sienna Plantation, is the largest capital project ever undertaken in Missouri City’s 56-year history and came in $3.5 million dollars under budget.
“Water is precious to us all,” said Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen. “This plant ensures that Missouri City residents will have fresh water for the future.”
The project, a partnership between the city and 40 Government and private sector groups, is the result of a state mandate which requires that cities must use water treatment plants, instead of aquifers, to provide water for their residents. By 2013, the city must utilize 30 percent surface water– increasing to 60 percent by 2025. The new plant, which started delivering water to residents in February, is currently producing two million gallons of water per day. As the city’s population increases, the plant will expand in two phases to produce 21 million gallons in 2017 and 33 million gallons in 2027.
“The city had the foresight 10 years ago to reserve surface water options from the Gulf Coast Water Authority to assure an adequate water supply for our residents,” said Scott Elmer, Director of Public Works. “Now future residents don’t have to worry about where their water is coming from.”
In 2000, Missouri City bought water rights on the Brazos River for $100,000 per year setting the stage for the eventual construction of the surface water treatment plant. The plant works by taking water from the Brazos River and pumping it into the two plant reservoirs via the Brisco Canal. It is then channeled into various treatment tanks, including a membrane filtration system, where sediment is removed and the water is disinfected . The treated water is stored in a large on-site tank to be dispersed by transfer pump stations to the MUD water plants around the city.
The plant recently won the Texas Public Works Association’s Project of the Year Award for “Environmental Projects at least $25 million but less than $75 million.”