TCEQ approves pilot protocol, water plant set to re-open


Special to the NEWS


Approval – With TCEQ’s approval, City officials said they hope to have the Water Treatment Plant running in six to nine months. (Courtesy photo)


Plans to reopen San Benito’s $17 million water plant are underway after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved the pilot protocol study submitted on November of 2018.  The City said it plans to have the plant running within six to nine months.

TCEQ’s approval comes after a long awaited review of technical requirements in order to restore the facility.

 “The TCEQ approval letter was provided to Evoqua Water Technologies LLC, which has initiated a piloting implementation schedule to commission the plant,” said City Manager Manuel De La Rosa. A pilot study is a small-scale test of processes to be used in the plant’s operation.

Built in 2009, the water treatment plant shut down in 2014 after malfunctions in its microfiltration system led the city to file a lawsuit against engineers and contractors. The lawsuit reached a settlement in November 2017 in which defendant Evoqua Water Technologies was required to pay the City of San Benito a $4 million payment along with an agreement that a pilot study would be performed to ensure critical components are incorporated into the plant’s upgrade.

The City received $1.87 million in cash and $3.1 million worth of services from Evoqua Water Technologies. The settlement is enough to upgrade the plant to its original standards at no cost to the City.



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