Texas water utility proposes $218 million in wastewater plant improvements

November 6, 2023

The city of Tyler’s Water Utilities Department has released a $218 million wastewater infrastructure plan that includes 24 projects to address aging facilities at a pair of wastewater treatment plants.  

The 373-page document recommends upgrades to the Westside and Southside Wastewater Treatment Plants. The plan also supports odor-control measures and potential future modifications to bring treatment plant operations into compliance with regulatory changes.  

Many of the facilities at the Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) are in critical condition and “struggling” to maintain compliance, according to the plan. The Capital Improvement Plan for the WWTP identifies 12 projects at an estimated cost between $117.9 million and $126.9 million.  

The recommended improvements include $34 million for new aeration basins. The project includes decommissioning existing nitrification basin channels, building three basin channels utilizing diffused aeration, building a blower facility and four blowers.  

Other proposed improvements for the WWTP include adding two 100-foot-diameter primary clarifiers at $17 million and a $13 million influent pump station. Other projects include an $11.9 million headworks facility, $10.9 million in improvements to WWTP’s dewatering facility and the $9.3 million rehabilitation of a secondary clarifier. The plan calls for a 12-month engineering design phase, followed by a three-month bid phase and 36 months of construction. 

Improvements to the Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant (SWTP) call for 12 projects at an estimated cost of $90.7 million. Plans include the $25.4 million construction of three aeration basins and the $21.7 million rebuilding of three existing secondary clarifiers. Many of the existing facilities do not have the capacity or redundancy necessary to treat future peak flows, and there are multiple facilities in critical condition. The engineering, bidding, construction and start-up timeline is the same as the WWTP projects.  

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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