Does the City of Granbury need an additional wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)?
Yes. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires the City to begin planning to expand or construct new facilities when 75 percent of current capacity is achieved in three consecutive months. That happened in 2016. That is when planning for a new plant began. Current plans call for (approximate costs) a $20 million reconstruction of the existing WWTP and $13 million construction of an additional plant.
Why not expand the Harbor Lakes WWTP?
An agreement which prohibits the expansion of the existing wastewater treatment plant property and treatment capacity is part of the TCEQ approval of the original waste discharge permit for the Harbor Lakes WWTP.
What happens if the City does not build an additional WWTP?
If an additional WWTP is not constructed, the City will be in violation of TCEQ rules. Periodically the current system will be overloaded, potentially resulting in contamination of nearby bodies of water.
How was the location chosen for the additional WWTP?
A detailed search was conducted to determine the area where the WWTP will operate most efficiently. A site at 3121 Old Granbury Road that already has a sanitary sewer line running through it and the optimal elevation (reducing the operating cost for the life of the plant) was located. The proximity to Lake Granbury was also a factor. There were multiple options evaluated and considered by the City and the recommended location was selected based on all of the selection criteria.
Why doesn’t the City participate in a larger, regional WWTP instead of building their own?
For approximately 20 years, Hood County stakeholders in the region have participated in WWTP discussions. There has never been agreement on how costs could be managed and shared, nor where the proposed plant might be located. As recently as September 14, 2021, Hood County Commissioners had on their Agenda “…to support project identification and feasibility in developing centralized wastewater, water, storm water and broadband infrastructure with the City of Cresson and with other interested municipalities in Hood County” and continued to take no action.
According to TCEQ, how many property owners will be affected by a new WWTP?
There are approximately 14 affected landowners, according to the TCEQ guidelines in the permit application. They are landowners surrounding the WWTP property and on both sides of the discharge route for one mile downstream of the plant’s discharge point.
What will the new WWTP be discharging into Lake Granbury or its tributaries?
Effluent will be discharged by the plant. It is defined as treated water that remains after the wastewater treatment process has been completed. TCEQ’s permit allows for effluent to ultimately enter Lake Granbury. Water quality is measured by the number of suspended solids, nutrients, and organics present. Effluent from the new WWTP will be cleaner water than the water that is currently in Lake Granbury.
Will the new plant smell or be noisy?
The proposed plant includes active odor control for all potentially odor-causing process units, including covers over those structures and foul air capture and treatment. The plant design minimizes noise, light, and odor pollution in the operations beyond current TCEQ standards.
What is the next step?
The City received preliminary approval of the WWTP discharge permit and is awaiting final approval from the TCEQ. This final permit is scheduled to be considered by the TCEQ on September 22, 2021.