Engineering plans for new water and wastewater lines in Cottonwood Shores have been sent to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for approval. Once approved, workers will start installing new water and wastewater lines in different parts of the city in the next few months.
TCEQ typically takes 30 days to give an answer, according to City Administrator J.C. Hughes.
The drawings reached Hughes’ desk the week of Sept. 6, and he and Mayor Don Orr spent the following weekend reviewing them, he said. The two met Sept. 13 to go over their notes and contacted the engineer. The drawings were sent to TCEQ on Sept. 15.
If TCEQ approves the drawings in mid-October, construction should begin in the winter, Hughes said.
“We expect to award (construction) contracts in late November and for construction to start in late December,” he said.
In November 2020, the council approved obtaining certificates of obligation totaling $1.5 million for new water and wastewater lines.
The streets scheduled for improved water mains, fire hydrants, and wastewater mains include Brookwood Drive and portions of Birch Lane, Dogwood Lane, Lakeview Drive, Maple Lane, and Oak Lane. The water mains are being installed to connect and loop to existing water mains to provide improved water volume and pressure throughout the city. The sewer mains are being added to areas that currently do not have service.
Cottonwood Shores residents at one time had water lines that were as wide as a water hose, which limited the amount of water pressure to homes.
“It is volume and pressure,” Hughes said. “The fingers weren’t connected or looped. Our lines were undersized.”
He noted that surveying the streets and property lines “took an absorbent amount of time.”
“The reason we did this wasn’t for developers and not necessarily for development,” he said. “In order to provide pressure to everyone, we had to do this.”
In addition, an 8-inch water main will be installed from the water tower on Kings Way to Kings Row as part of phase one of improvements to add volume and pressure to the Castle Terrace subdivision and allow for future fire hydrant installations in phase two.
“We’ll have 14 fire hydrants connected; one every three to 400 feet,” Hughes said. “If there’s a fire hydrant close to your home, you should get a reduction (on home insurance).”
Work also will begin in the next few weeks on the construction of lift station No. 5, which will be located on Dogwood Lane. Currently, the city has four lift stations that collect waste. Lift stations 1, 2, and 4 send the material to lift station 3, which transports wastewater to Horseshoe Bay for treatment.
“(Lift station No. 5) will be the collection point for all the lift stations and the new developments on the west side of the city,” Hughes said.
In other news, a new city website is under development. Hughes sent its link to council members, noting it is about 90 percent ready for public release. The target date for it to go live is Oct. 1, but there’s a chance it can be ready by Sept. 24.