Sanitary Sewer Main Replacement to Save Treatment Costs

Articles Water Project Update

The City of Arlington Water Utilities Department will use a new $2.4 million “green” award from the Texas Water Development Board to increase sanitary sewer line efficiency and save future wastewater treatment costs. A $359,700 portion of the loan from the Texas Water Development Board’s Clean Water State Revolving Plan will be forgiven.

Project scope calls for more than three miles of sanitary sewer mains to be replaced in several areas throughout the city. A large section of the project will take place in conjunction with Arlington Public Works and Transportation work in an area northwest of East Mayfield Road and Allen Avenue. Construction on the sanitary sewer main replacements in this area is expected to begin by the end of 2016.

Arlington pays Trinity River Authority’s Central Regional Wastewater System to treat wastewater flows from the city. In their application for funding, Arlington Water Utilities engineers estimated that addressing inflow and infiltration problems through the proposed replacements could save the city more than $4 million in wastewater fees over the new mains’ lifetime. Inflow and infiltration occur when stormwater or groundwater improperly enter the sanitary sewer system, through cracked pipes or damaged manholes.

“In Arlington, extra flow to the treatment plant means extra costs to our customers. Projects like these will ensure that our customers aren’t paying more than they need to pay,” said Brad Franklin, Assistant Director of Water Utilities – Engineering and Support Services.

The portion of the loan that will be paid back, $2,080,000, comes with an interest rate of just 0.37 percent. The reduced interest rate will save Arlington $460,028 over the course of the loan, when compared with the typical interest rate of municipal revenue bonds.

Other areas where sanitary sewer mains will be replaced are along West Tucker Boulevard and Wren Drive and along Matlock Road, north of East Mayfield Road. Needs for improvement were pinpointed as part of a sanitary sewer master plan developed in 2009 by the City of Arlington.

“The Texas Water Development Board sponsored loan program continues to be a valued source of low interest funding,” said Arlington Director of Water Utilities Buzz Pishkur. “The staff at the agency is very efficient in evaluating and processing applications and we have found this state agency to be an excellent partner in our infrastructure replacement programs.”

Public entities like Arlington must apply for funds from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which is authorized by the Clean Water Act. Low interest loans, some with forgiveness percentages, are awarded each fiscal year based on a ranking of applications. The City of Arlington Water Utilities Department has been awarded nearly $1 million in forgivable loans and $5.5 million in low interest loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund since 2014.

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