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June 11, 2013

Council to discuss wastewater plant

GREENVILLE — The Greenville City Council plans to be talking about wastewater tonight.

Specifically, the Council intends to discuss issues concerning the Wastewater Reclamation Center during a closed door executive session, included under the regular session agenda, starting at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 2821 Washington Street.

The Council is scheduled to convene under Texas Government Code Section 551.071, which allows for consultations with the City Attorney for advice on legal matters, and Section 551.072, for “deliberations about Real Property, regarding Waste Water Treatment Plant construction and liquidated damages related to construction delays.”

Should the Council take any action on items discussed in executive session, it would return to regular session to do so.

The wastewater reclamation center was built to treat up to six million gallons of wastewater a day. Two holding tanks at the center are able to contain up to 50 million gallons of wastewater, awaiting treatment.

However, when there is a heavy rain, there is more wastewater in the system than can be contained , causing overflows from manholes and bypasses at the wastewater treatment plant, which leak in the Cowleech Fork of the Sabine River and ultimately to Lake Tawakoni.

In March, the wastewater plant experienced peak flows that exceeded the capacity of the new pumping facilities and resulted in flooding of one of the new buildings at the plant.

Last month, the Council voted to approve a budget amendment to pay the Freese and Nichols consulting firm of Fort Worth a total of $137,900 to conduct an  Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) study.

Interim City Manager/Director of Public Works Massoud Ebrahim has said overflows and bypasses are violations of the City’s permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the EPA Clean Water Act and expose the City of Greenville to potential enforcement actions and penalties up to $25,000 per day.

Ebrahim said Freese and Nichols has proposed a plan to assist in identifying and correcting the I&I problems.

The initial phase of the study will examine problems in the northern portions of the city. Following the study, the city will go out for bids on a project to fix or replace manholes and other pipes in that sector, with the work to be done in stages. Once the problems in the northern sector are corrected, studies will be done in the southern and western sectors of the city.

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