Note: The Travis County Water Control and Improvement District No. 17 Mansfield Water Treatment Plant started operations in January 2016. The plant added to WCID 17’s operations and capacity to supply water to Steiner Ranch, Comanche Trail, Strawberry Hill and other areas in Four Points. WCID 17 does not have a water boil mandate like the city of Austin put into effect yesterday. The two utilities have separate water treatment plants. This story first ran Jan. 21, 2016.
By LYNETTE HAALAD, Four Points News
After two years of construction, the Travis County Water Control and Improvement District No. 17 opens its new $31 million Mansfield Water Treatment Plant, which will serve the local area for decades into the future.
The Mansfield Water Treatment Plant project is the largest expansion of capacity in 56 years and the most complex major capital project Water District 17 has ever undertaken.
The Mansfield plant, located at 4506 N RM 620 near Mansfield Dam, will serve all WCID 17 customers from Comanche Trail and Steiner Ranch all the way to Highway 71 and Serene Hills Drive.
WCID 17 is a retail non-profit public utility providing water and wastewater service to approximately 37,500 people.
Jan. 19, 2016 was the final inspection at the Mansfield Water Treatment Plant
WCID 17 hopes to have its certificate of occupancy by Friday.
“We are in the testing phase and once we receive our certificate of occupancy from the City of Austin, water will be sent into the system. (We are) running yes, feeding system yet, no,” said Deborah Gernes, WCID 17 general manager.
On Jan. 28, 2016 there will be a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new plant, which has been in the planning stages for more than a decade.
The new water treatment plant will allow for long-term continued growth of the WCID 17 population.
Why Mansfield plant needed
The growing population will catch up with the current capacity of the Eck Lane Water Treatment Plant daily production.
The WCID 17’s existing water treatment plant is located on Lake Travis near the district’s administration office building at 3812 Eck Lane. The Eck Water Treatment Plant has been expanded in about eight phases to a current capacity of 16 million gallons per day (MGD). Because there is not sufficient space at the existing site for additional expansions, the new site was acquired.
A second water treatment plant on the north side of the dam had been in the district long range plans for many years. In anticipation of this requirement, in 2006, WCID 17 began the process of obtaining an easement on the shore of Lake Travis to construct a new plant.
Capacity Mansfield plant will provide
Although Water District 17 has reduced its maximum usage drastically (over 20 percent) due to drought restrictions and extreme conservation, the Eck Lane plant is still near capacity. Under normal conditions, the Eck Lane plant is at 90 percent of nominal capacity in the summer.
Projected growth in the area includes over 1,000 apartment units, an extremely large commercial development and new town center in Lakeway, a hotel, and more commercial development on the Lakeway Regional Medical Center property.
Capacity must be in place before it is required, and current demand patterns show the plant will be needed by 2016. Phase One of the Mansfield plant will have 6.0 million gallons per day (MGD) capacity with a 12.0 MGD capacity at full build out.
Mansfield plant cost
The facility was built in phases. The total facility cost is $31,395,549 which is financed by a revenue bond paid by water impact fees (one-time fee assessed on all new connections to WCID 17 facilities which buy capacity in these facilities) and current tax funds already collected.
WCID 17 general manager Gernes said that the Mansfield facility will provide the water treatment capacity needed to meet stringent Environmental Protection Agency requirements, protect public health, the environment and the quality of life for the population it serves.