May 13, 2022

 

 

Georgetown councilmembers and city staff shovel dirt during the South Lake Water Treatment Plant groundbreaking ceremony, Monday. The incoming plant will double the city’s daily water treatment capacity.  Photos by Brigid Cooley

 

Georgetown Leaders celebrate

Water treatment plant project begins

 

By BRIGID COOLEY 

Roughly 40 people gathered for the South Lake Water Treatment Plant groundbreaking ceremony on Monday. The event marked the beginning of construction at the new Georgetown plant, which is expected to open between 2025 and 2026. 

“This is going to be a great, great project for the City of Georgetown,” Mayor Josh Schroeder said during the event. “We have been working to make this happen for the community for some time now.”

The city operates four water treatment plants currently, with a combined treatment capacity of 40-44 million gallons per day. The addition of the South Lake facility, which is located at 1010 Crockett Gardens Road, will double the city’s capacity by providing an additional 44 million gallons per day. 

news photo

Georgetown Mayor Josh Schroeder gives opening remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The plant is critical for the city to meet the needs of its growing population, said Chelsea Solomon, the city’s water utilities director. 

“If you look in the last couple of years, we’ve hit greater than 90 percent of our treatment capacity, which is a little bit scary,” Ms. Solomon said. “This will help us give us some resiliency, give us a little bit of a back up and make sure we have enough so we don’t get close to that 90 percent range.”

The addition of this plant is expected to provide the city enough treatment capacity for the next 10 years, she said. 

The facility, which is being constructed by PLW Waterworks, has an anticipated price tag of $175.3 million and will be funded through impact fees, utility revenues and a 30-year revenue bond, Mr. Schroeder said. 

The project will also provide jobs for locals.

“We’re going to be providing jobs for the next four years,” said Jesus Avila, superintendent for PLW Waterworks, the company constructing the facility. “There will be at least 100 jobs at this site alone. We want to give locals an opportunity for work and build relationships within the city.”  

In addition to the construction of the South Lake facility, an expansion project is currently underway at the city’s Northlake Water Treatment Plant. However, the expansion will not be complete until 2023. 

In the meantime, the city is emphasizing the need for water conservation efforts from residents, especially over the hot summer months. 

An easy place to cut back usage is lawn irrigation, which is responsible for between 60-70 percent of the city’s water usage during the summer, Ms. Solomon said. 

“[Residents] need to make sure they don’t water in the heat of the day and that they stick to their watering days,” Ms. Solomon said. 

“Because the plants are going to be pushed really hard this summer, it’s important to not water on Mondays because that’s when we do our maintenance. Then, if we send out that call that says we need people to cut back, we need people to realistically cut back where they can.”