Marble Falls water project complete

CONTRIBUTED/City of Marble Falls

Looking eastward, a row of new blue rapid-mix pumps for chemicals lead to the new clarifier tank at the City of Marble Falls water treatment plant above Lake Marble Falls.

By Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

The $1.5 million expansion project at the City of Marble Falls Water Department plant on Circle Drive met its construction deadline March 10.

“It is up and running,” said Eric Belaj. “The construction involved the installation of a 60-foot diameter clarifier tank, including site piping, valves and electrical connecting the concrete tank to the rest of the

water plant.”

A 1940s-era water plant located west of the US 281 bridge over Lake Marble Falls was replaced with the current plant, east of the bridge in the early 1960s.

“The plant was overhauled again 20 years later in the 1980s,” Belaj said. “The contractor, Excel Construction, began this project July 13.”

Belaj told the Marble Falls City Council in a March 1 report on the Capital Improvement Plan that the full advantage of the improvements would not be realized immediately. That's because they are only on Phase 3 in a series of water treatment improvements, he explained.

“Phase 4 will add one additional filter, building expansion, pumping, major electrical work and upgrades to the raw water intake,” he said. “These additions will permit the plant to treat 4.8 million gallons of water per day (MGD), an increase from the current maximum 2.99 MGD.

“We hope to go to the council in late spring with the option of extending work into Phase 4,” Belaj explained. “The engineering alone would take another six months.”

The estimated cost, depending on the extent of the project, would be another $2.5-$3.5 million.

“We have been under Stage 3 water restrictions, so we have been easy on the plant,” Belaj said. “But at its highest last summer we used about 2.5 MGD.”

At that highest rate of operation, the city's water treatment is at about 84 percent of a daily capacity, so the city has time for planning.

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rule-of-thumb standards, a municipal water treatment operation would be into engineering plans by the time typical production was at 90 percent.

See the story in the Tuesday, March 11, edition of The Highlander.


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