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Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 4:47 AM

Taylor water supply steady for now

EDIE ZUVANICH Special to the Press

Taylor can count on having enough water for another 25 years, according to Brad Brunett, central and lower basin regional manager for the Brazos River Authority.

The BRA supplies treated water from Lake Granger to Taylor, the Jonah Special Utilities District and Lone Star Regional Water Authority through the East Williamson County Water Treatment Plant.

“In terms of how long Lake Granger’s going to last (provide enough water volume), based on the projections we have, we’re looking at 2045 or so,” Brunett said. “And with the ground water well that we already have in place, that’s another 3 million gallons per day, so we’ve got enough raw water to take care of all the customers right now through 2050.”

Brunett told the Taylor City Council Thursday that while the plant can supply the average daily need for water, there are some high-usage days that predictions show could come close to exceeding the plant’s current daily capacity potentially as soon as 2024.

“From 2020 and on we’ve seen a pretty big increase in the peak demands from the plant and this is what we have to size the plant to meet, is these peak demands,” Brunett said. “Even though they only happen maybe once or twice a summer, that’s what we have to size the plant to take care of.”

The BRA presentation showed several capacity-building projects currently in the works. Based on recent upgrades, they are conducting a re-rating study and are expecting approval to increase from the current 12.6 MGD to over 13.75 MGD this year.

Next, an on-site well is expected to bring the volume to 15.25 MGD as soon as 2025. At 3,000 feet deep, the Trinity well taps into the aquifer that previously was the city’s main water source.

Council members who grew up in Taylor were quick to remind Brunett that the city’s water didn’t taste so good back then. The BRA representative said the company was aware of the issue.

“We’re going to blend a little bit of that water.

On those days when we’re treating 10 or 12 or 13 MGD of the surface water, putting in a million or two of groundwater essentially dilutes the problem of that water. There’s some water quality change but we still have to meet all the state drinking water standards,” he said. The well still needs a cooling tower and chemical treatment facility before it can start adding to the raw water supply.

The amount of water BRA can distribute is currently limited by the single 27-inch pipe leading from the plant to Circleville. All three entities served by BRA connect to the main line in Circleville and are responsible for their own pipes from that point.

BRA intends to build a 48-inch pipe parallel to the existing pipe that will serve Jonah SUD and Lone Star Regional Water Authority. The existing line will then be dedicated solely to water for Taylor.

“We’re going put interconnects on both lines so if anything ever happens to one or the other we’re not dead in the water so to speak as we are now.”

Currently in the design phase, pipeline expansion should be completed in 2027 and will increase the volume to 17.75 MGD.

Additional projects, including building a medium service pump station and intake pump expansion, should bring the total volume to 27.75 MGD by 2028.

Beyond that, BRA is exploring several options for long-term expansion with a goal of 40 to 42 MGD.

Brunett said that as the part of the county upstream of Lake Granger grows, the amount of treated wastewater flowing into the lake will raise the volume and create a natural increase in water available from that source. The water authority also has over a dozen strategies currently being evaluated for potential long-term increases.


Taylor Press