The Weatherford Utility Board held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss strategic planning of the wastewater system.
Board members and city staff discussed the projected future growth of Weatherford to theorize on where future wastewater infrastructure should be constructed. Given the construction along the Interstate 20 corridor west and south of town, ideas include adding a satellite plant along the Sanchez Creek on the southwest side of town.
Future expansion of the existing wastewater treatment plant was also brainstormed.
The existing plant is permitted to handle 4.5 million gallons per day and averages about 2.2 MGD.
Assistant City Manager Sharon Hayes said the plant has plenty of capacity, but reminded the board as soon as a plant reaches 70 percent capacity the city should start plans for expansion and be under construction by time the plant hits 90 percent capacity. Given those statistics, she said the plant is projected to reach capacity in about eight years.
She also said the permitting and design process can take years and cited the eight years it has taken Fort Worth to prepare for an expansion.
“We have to plan like we’re going to do it, or we’ll be behind,” Hayes said.
The expansion of water and wastewater lines from Fort Worth west was also discussed since the Fort Worth extraterritorial jurisdiction now encroaches well into Parker County and bumps against the Weatherford ETJ.
“You cannot find a city on the precipice of Fort Worth in Wise, Parker or Denton counties that they’ve not completely surrounded,” city manager Jerry Blaisdell said “They’ve been very aggressive and they’ve done really a marvelous job. I’m not knocking them. They’ve done a good job securing Fort Worth’s future in that area.”
The board discussed the possibility of Weatherford becoming a regional wastewater provider. The consensus was Fort Worth will most likely take care of the eastern part of the county and Weatherford should look south and west for additional customers. Hudson Oaks is currently Weatherford’s only wholesale wastewater customer.
“The challenge is you can go after all you can ask for, but if we can’t support it, it’s a futile effort,” board member Ken Davis said.
In order to organize and prioritize projects, a new wastewater capital improvement plan is also needed. New plans are typically created every decade with the last CIP created in 2000. Hayes said the cost of a new document would be $150,000 to $200,000.