The new water tower is the centerpiece of a list of utility upgrades underway in Granite Shoals. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
Granite Shoals is on track to complete major utility upgrades using a $7 million bond that was approved in November 2019. Interim City Manager Peggy Smith updated the City Council on the improvements during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The new water tower is the most obvious structural improvement to the city’s utilities. The list of upgrades also includes a new raw water intake on Lake LBJ, additional water storage and water treatment equipment, major equipment repairs, and badly needed distribution pipe replacements. Most of these projects are expected to be done by July.
Granite Shoals is growing quickly, and water system upgrades are necessary to accommodate that growth and keep the city in compliance with water quality standards set by the TCEQ, Smith said.
“These changes were to adjust for growth,” she told DailyTrib.com. “We were never out of compliance with the (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), but we were approaching concerning numbers. This was proactive, to not reach the point where we’re in violation and having to ask for exemptions.”
The new water tower holds 350,000 gallons, 150,000 more than the previous tower, which was recently torn down. A new sludge lagoon and water clarifier are currently under construction, both of which will drastically increase the city’s ability to process and produce clean water.
Smith expects that roughly $1 million will remain after the major work has been completed, and that will be used to upgrade distribution pipes across the city, allowing for more fire hydrants.
Granite Shoals has 20 years to pay down the $7 million bond, which is totally within the city’s means, according to Smith.
“(The bond) does not cover all of the needed repairs, but it’s a start,” she said.