TWDB approves $82M for Hidalgo County, New Braunfels water projects
Flood and water system improvement projects in Hidalgo County and the city of New Braunfels will benefit from more than $82.6 million in financial assistance from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).
At their March 10 meeting, board members approved more than $91.12 million to five projects across the state.
New Braunfels will receive $40 million for water system improvements, including expansion of its Surface Water Treatment Plant (SWTP).
New Braunfels – proposed surface water treatment plant
The city’s current treatment capacity of 8 million gallons per day (MGD) is inadequate for projected water demands, and existing infrastructure at the plant is in the floodplain. Significant flooding from the Guadalupe River occurred at the plant in 1998 and 2002. The city has identified additional areas of the existing SWTP that need improvement, such as the filter backwash system and the safety of the chlorine system.
To protect the SWTP from flooding, the improvements will include constructing a berm or floodwall around the perimeter of the facility, elevating raw water pumps and electrical equipment, and adding a new, enclosed chlorine building elevated above the floodplain with a dry scrubber system.
Design work is expected to begin in June 2022 with construction starting the following November to expand the plant to 16 MGD. Officials anticipate completion in September 2023.
TWDB awarded $32.67 million in financial assistance to Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1 for the first phase of a flood improvement project.
To reduce frequent flooding problems and to accommodate the area’s future development, the district plans to expand and improve the main drainage ditch, drainage ditch laterals, regional detention facilities, culvert crossings, the discharge structures, and pumps.
The project has been divided into four segments that interconnect and drain into the two outfalls that drain into the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) floodway. The construction of each segment is composed of channel excavation, regional detention pond excavation, embankment, gate well control structure, pump and controls, concrete rip rap, reinforced concrete boxes, and reinforced concrete pipe. The rights-of-way are limited in the area; therefore, land acquisition is included in the project.
Improvements will benefit over 400 structures in the area. The project will reduce the water surface elevation by more than 1.5 feet and it will increase the storage and discharge capacity of the storm system.
The design phase is set to begin in November, and construction is expected to commence in June 2022. Completion is scheduled for June 2024.