Problems saturate Floresville’s water system

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | July 17, 2015

Floresville City Council members have received a comprehensive assessment on the city’s water system, and it’s not pretty. Thomas Turk of M&S Engineering summarized the assessment for council members during a June 9 workshop.

The findings include:

  • Valves and fire hydrants that don’t work properly or don’t work at all.
  • Aeration chambers that don’t work well.
  • Dead-end mains, which, as Turk explained, mean the water doesn’t move properly.
  • Aged and undersized mains.

“As far as we know, the mains have been here since the water system was installed,” Turk said, noting that water mains last about 50 years.

Drawing from the assessment, he recommended a number of water-system upgrades:

  • Replace water meters throughout the city with meters that emit signals to ease and speed meter reading
  • Replace all 4-inch pipe with more-standard 8-inch pipe
  • Provide stand-by power in the form of a mobile generator
  • Rehabilitate the Hospital and B Street water wells
  • Install diffusers to release hydrogen-sulfide gas from the water into the air.

Floresville Mayor Diana Garza asked if the diffusers would help improve the taste of Floresville’s water. According to Turk, they will reduce the smell, which can affect taste.

Turk also made administrative and operational recommendations that include:

  • Developing water-monitoring and routine maintenance plans
  • Enforcing sanitary control easements 150 feet from the wells
  • Completing a water rate study
  • Adopting a water-system impact fee.

Turk estimated that a water-system overhaul for Floresville would cost $3.5 million. Floresville City Manager Henrietta Turner said she would pursue an additional U.S. Department of Agriculture grant if council members give her the go-ahead. “You’ll have to say yes or no,” Turner said. Council members agreed the matter should be placed on the agenda for the next city council meeting.

“Having quality water for our citizens is our major concern,” Garza said.

Plaza water tank replacement

Earlier at the June 9 meeting, council members received an update on the replacement of the Plaza ground storage water tank on U.S. 181. The first phase is under way. Two newer tanks have already been purchased, and their concrete foundation is scheduled for completion by June 24.

Nancy Turner of M&S Engineering said the two 33,500-gallon fiberglass tanks will temporarily replace the existing 100,000-gallon tank until a new 100,000-gallon tank takes its place as part of the second phase.

The first phase, estimated to cost $72,700, also includes fence improvements, inspections, connecting the newer tanks to the system and putting them on line, and taking the existing tank off line, all to be completed by Aug. 30.

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