Among the projects included in the upgrade is the creation of two basins that would hold approximately two day's worth of water. The basins would serve the purpose of providing a steady supply of raw water to the treatment plant, and better allow the city's water department to control the water entering the filtering system.
Because the city's main water valve is located 15 miles from the plant, it takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes for any changes in water flow to reach the facility.
That means any increase or decrease in pressure, or in water quality like the city experienced last weekend, are literally in the pipeline and reach the plant before any corrective actions can be taken and continue for some time before they can be addressed.
With the pre-sedimentation basins in the proposed project, that control moves to the plant, giving the city staff better control of water conditions as it enters the treatment system. The basins will be built on the former Travis Field.
Six other projects are included in the total project, which will cost the city about $228,000 per year. They include upgrades to the sludge thickening tank, adding variable frequency drives to the aerators, upgrades to the north and prison booster pump stations, UV equipment replacement and lift station control upgrades.
Many of the city's water treatment facilities date from the 1950s. The upgrades will replace older equipment with newer, more efficient models, meaning cost savings, according to Joey Pursley with Energy Systems Group.
"We're trying to find a way to do the repairs at the water and wastewater treatment plants that pays for itself with the savings," he said.
Energy Systems Group is the same company that installed the city's automatic water meters.
David Holt, who was at the meeting to discuss the upcoming legislative session, also discussed water with the council.
Holt is one of Snyder's appointees to the Colorado River Municipal Water District's (CRMWD) board of directors.
He told the council that the Ward County wells that will come online in about six months have produced better than expected during testing, and will add 46 million gallons a day (mgd) to the district's capacity.
He said the district had issued requests for proposals seeking new water sources, but that there is also a balance between water availability and water cost.
He told the council that there was water to be had, but that it often carried a very high price tag.
"We don't want to bankrupt our cities," he said.
The council also approved a second amendment to the member city's contract with CRMWD that allows the member cities to pursue outside water sources in some circumstances. The amendment was needed because Odessa is studying the feasibility of a desalination plant.