MHWSC looks to new plant as concerns mount

Staff Writer

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A new water plant may alleviate concerns over discolored water in some rural areas of San Benito.

Residents of communities in the Highway 281 area have continued to express concern with regard to the discoloration of water provided by Military Highway Water Supply Corporation (MHWSC).

MHWSC General Manager Ramon Rosales, however, maintains that the yellow tint that has concerned residents is caused by minerals in the water.

On Friday, Rosales expanded, “We actually have a new plant that we’re working on starting up, but I can’t give you a timeframe.”

He mentioned a micro filtration RO (reverse osmosis) plant has already been constructed in the vicinity of Joines Road closer to San Benito. MHWSC is currently awaiting wells to be developed for the facility.

“Of course, that water is going to be of a completely different quality because of the fact that membranes are being utilized,” Rosales said.

The lack of a timeframe, Rosales said, is due to weather conditions making wells inaccessible for equipment.

He added that not all water complaints came from the same area. When the issue first arose at San Benito CISD’s rural campuses serviced by MHWSC, different customers were being affected.

“We addressed some of the things there to help alleviate that problem,” he added.

The new concerns, while still stemming from the discoloration due to minerals in the water, are now being experienced elsewhere.

The area has 10-inch waterlines, which Rosales said are large. This water “gets a little stagnant, so you don’t get a lot of use out of it.”

When subdivisions are built, waterlines are sized up so that they can maintain adequate pressure to that subdivision.

For instance, a 100-acre area, according to a hypothetical situation offered by Rosales, would require facilities and pipes to adequately provide proper water pressure for future customers.

It becomes a question of initial costs verses having to rebuild pipes to accommodate growth, according to Rosales. If the subdivision isn’t yet developed to the full capacity of the water lines, there will be stagnant water, Rosales further explained.

The new facility “will make a difference,” he said. There will still be minerals in the water, but now it will go through the membrane process.

In the meantime, Rosales stressed that the water remains safe for consumption.

Earlier this year, there were concerns about the water’s color at rural San Benito schools. This prompted SBCISD to provide gallon water jugs to classrooms.

As for questions brought up regarding the water quality at some San Benito schools, Superintendent Antonio Limon said he had not been informed of any additional concerns.


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