Floresville Water takes Center Stage

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | January 28, 2015
Floresville water takes center stage
WILLIAM J. GIBBS JR. — M&S Engineering has been working on a water system model for Floresville since last November. Thomas Turk of M&S presented an in-depth update Jan. 22 to the Floresville City Council.
Two water-related topics took center stage at the Jan. 22 meeting of the Floresville City Council. Thomas Turk of M&S Engineering said rehabilitation of the Plaza Well, which began last October, was complete.

“After all the trials and tribulations, we couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome”

– Thomas Turk

He said the well’s pumping capacity, which originally was about 1,200 gallons per minute, is now 1,000 gallons per minute, but he “expected this of the old well. The Plaza Well’s rehabilitation included cleaning of the screen and removal of debris; installation of a cement plug, a column pipe, and a pump and fittings; and inspection, disinfection, and testing. Additional improvements included replacement of the booster-pump motor, well switch, and transducer, and replacement of the chlorination system’s injectors, pipe, and regulator.

Turk said attention turned to Floresville’s other two wells, which worked overtime while the Plaza Well was off line. Following inspections, a third pump was installed at the B Street site, and improvements were made to the chlorination system at the hospital site. Looking ahead to future projects to ensure a safe water supply for Floresville, Turk updated council members on the water system model M&S has been developing since last November. “We are halfway through and making some progress,” he said, adding that research and data collection should be complete in February.

M&S Engineering also identified numerous issues with the city’s water system that need attention, including modernization of some components, standby power, and old water meters. (See list.) Turk also discussed the potential impact of development and annexations on the north side of Floresville. He said the River Bend subdivision, which is served by the Plaza Well, requires one-third of the well’s capacity. He recommended more ground storage of water for River Bend — about 150,000 gallons. He also said Floresville will have to supply water to residents of areas to the north, if the city annexes any of them.

For the long term, Turk offered Floresville options to ensure its water supply:

  • Expand existing water plants and transmission mains, to move water northward.
  • Construct at least one new water plant.
  • Enter into an agreement with the Oak Hills Water Supply Corp.

Turk recommended that Floresville implement a water impact fee, to be paid primarily by developers, to build a savings account for future water-related improvements.

Water system concerns:

  • Chlorine systems may need modernization or upgrading.
  • Standby power is lacking at two of the three wells.
  • Water meters are generally very old and need replacing.
  • The ground storage tank at the Plaza site needs to be replaced.
  • The computerized supervisory control and data acquisition system is outdated.
  • The elevated storage tank on Standish Street should be taken down because it will deteriorate if it is not used.
  • Many gate valves throughout the system don’t work.
  • The water’s high sulfur content smells badly and abets corrosion.
  • A number of water mains, mostly downtown, are broken.
  • Fire hydrants may not provide adequate coverage, may not be properly placed, and may not work.
  • Some pipes are under size, and water pressure is low in some areas.
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