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Granite Shoals awaits TCEQ approval of water tower, addresses other issues

Granite Shoals addresses water issues

Granite Shoals leaders are working to address a number of water issues, including adding lines that can support more fire hydrants. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

With a growing population, the city of Granite Shoals has several projects on its to-do list to keep up with residential water needs, including a new 350,000-gallon water tower.

City leaders are waiting for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to approve the plans for the new water tower before crews can move ahead with construction.

“Everything about that tower — the structure, the connections, everything — has to be approved,” Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith said. 

The approval isn’t expected for several more weeks.

The new water tower is one part of the $7 million water bond voters passed in 2019.

Last year, the City Council approved purchasing a 350,000-gallon water tower at $1.7 million to replace the existing 150,000-gallon tank. Smith noted the current tower is close to being too small to serve the number of city residents, which would be in violation of TCEQ regulations.

“When you’re at 75 percent capacity, you’re told to be in the planning phase to get more capacity,” she said. “We’re very, very close to that range.”

The old tower will continue to be used while the new tower is being constructed.

Along with the water tower, city leaders have plans to address the water plant and water lines.

TCEQ officials visited the plant two years ago to give a performance evaluation. While the plant was in compliance with TCEQ standards, Smith said state officials made recommendations “for better process control.” One change city leaders will make is to the disinfectant at the raw water intake. 

“We get a lot of organic materials that come up, natural stuff in the lake. This is a way we can make the water consistent,” Smith said regarding the disinfectant change. “It saves me worrying; we’re in compliance (with state regulations). We put out good clean, clear water.”

Smith said the city strives to exceed all state and federal guidelines when it comes to water.

As for the water lines, Smith said it would cost another $7 million to tackle that project. The city is working to get grant funding to help with some of the water lines. Even without grant money, city leaders anticipate some funds left over from the 2019 bond, which could go to water line work.

One of Smith’s top priorities is getting water lines capable of supporting fire hydrants in parts of the city where those are lacking.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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