On March 21, the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) approved $17,030,000 from its Clean Water State Revolving Fund to the city of Stephenville to assistance in the costs of the east side sewer project.

“Concern was raised that the eastern side of the city is lacking in sewer connections, and that some of the existing sewer system in the older parts of the city may not be in the condition or be able to handle the capacity of future development,” Director of Public Works Nick Williams said during a presentation. “As development occurs to the north of town, the existing 21-inch and 15-inch lines that are adjacent to the Bosque River will either need to be replaced with a larger line, re-lined and paralleled with a new line or ‘bursted’ with a larger diameter pipe.”

Here is a look at the project:

Phase 1

Wastewater Treatment Plant to relief load transfer point to bottleneck, $9.5 million. Impacts 2,352 properties.

Phase 2

East side of river to airport area, $2.3 million. Impacts 28 residential properties.

Phase 3

Relief load transfer to S.H. 8 & U.S. 281, $4.4 million. Impacts 14 properties.

The estimated total of the project is currently at $16.2 million, which is expected to be covered by funding from the TWDB.

“We have not identified an alternative to phase 1, except overflowing onto the ground. It all runs through that one bottleneck,” Williams said during Tuesday’s called meeting of the city council. “Seventy percent of the entire collection system is affect by phase 1. When these overflows happen they typically happen outside, which is what we want. The unfortunate truth is that they don’t always happen outside — they spill over into homes.”

Stephenville could save approximately $3.1 million over the life of the loan by using the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, according to the TWDB press release.

At Tuesday’s meeting the council approved the project resolution authorizing a notice of intent (publishing of two notices), the authorization to pursue the state-mandated environmental review (can take up to six months) and the easement acquisition process.

The next steps will include soliciting bids for the construction of the entire project and consideration of phases for construction (all bids evaluated for each phase).

The planning and design for the project dates back 10 years when the city entered into an agreement with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to take corrective action.

“I don’t want us to underestimate the significance of this,” said Mayor Kenny Weldon. “The state has shown they support what we’re doing and it’s really important that we get this right, so let’s do it right.”