Palo Pinto passes desalination plan

With water supplies for the Texas city of Mineral Wells dwindling, Palo Pinto county has approved, as part of its drought contingency plan, the construction of a US$ 6.1 million reverse osmosis desalination plant to treat water from the Brazos river.

A Palo Pinto water board decided the desalination plant was the most cost-effective way to meet water supply as drought continued to drain Lake Palo Pinto. Construction will start in early January and advisor, HDR, Engineering has been urged to push contractors to complete the project as early as mid April, according to HDR consultant, Ken Choffel.

Advisor to the board, HDR consultant, Ken Choffel said: "We have seven months of water left. We have to plan for the worst and hope for the best."

The reverse osmosis plant, was one of three options HDR presented to the district, Choffel said.

He said an option to build a new pipeline from Lake Mineral Wells would have cost about US$7.1 million and would have extended the city's current seven months of water by four months.

A third option, a pipeline from Weatherford, was discarded in October.

Construction of the reverse osmosis plant will begin in early January and HDR, at the urging of the board, will make a push for contractors to complete the project as soon as possible, potentially as early as mid April, Choffel said. At the very latest, the project would be completed by June, he said.

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