Texas reuse project nears construction stage

A proposed US$ 2.4 million water reuse project in Olney, Texas has moved closer to the construction phase following a city council environmental review public hearing.

The findings from the meeting will go to the final state review. The process will take six to eight weeks according to Olney city officials.

Many Texoma towns are emerging from drought, but Olney is still in stage four drought restrictions and its leaders said the reuse system was necessary.

The city's reservoirs, lakes Olney and Cooper, have risen three metres in recent weeks but the two lakes have not yet reached capacity. Hence city officials said they do not want to have to rely on rain alone.

"It just makes sense," said Olney city manager, Danny Parker. "The water leaving the wastewater treatment plant is good water, and I just think it makes sense to take it and reuse it."

Based on the worst case scenario, officials said consumers will be charged an extra US$ 5.63 each month. That could decrease as interest rate discussions continue. "Our citizens haven't given us a lot of grief over this," said Parker. "I think they understand the situation and they've been through these droughts before, so they kind of know what's going on."

The bidding process for the project construction will begin once state officials approve the review. City officials expect to break ground on the project this summer.

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