Sep 22, 2009

Austin, Texas, Debates Building New Water Treatment Plant

Hundreds show up at recent debate; city council expected to vote in October

The City Council in Austin, Texas, is expected to decide next month whether or not to build a new water treatment plant, worth an estimated $508 million, News 8 Austin reported.

The plant, if built, would produce 50 million gal per day (mgd) of potable water per day by 2014, according to city documents. After all three phases are complete, it would produce out 300 mgd.

The council recently heard from those who believe the city should not wait any longer to begin construction on the new plant, as well as those who don’t believe it is necessary at all.

"If it doesn't happen and we don't move forward with the water plant, then we run the risk of really being in trouble," Steve Coonans, a consultant to the City of Austin, told the news station.

Many in the environmental community, however, disagree.

"The trend is going down again as our population has gone up. Our summer water use has gone down and we've only started conservation," Colin Clark, with Save Our Springs, said.

Land has already been purchased for the treatment plant, which would be paid for by Austin Water Utility customers.