September 2014, Vol. 69, No. 9


The Woodlands To Get Sewer Upgrades

As The Woodlands, TX turns 40, the city is preparing to spend $40 million over the next five years to upgrade its wastewater system due to old age from collapsing sewer lines to equipment failures and rain-induced sewage overflows.

As reported in the Houston Chronicle, most of the lines that are in need of repair are in the eastern portion of The Woodlands and date back to the early 1970s. Parts of the system have begun to perform poorly and heavy rains have caused thousands of gallons of wastewater to overflow, according to state data.

The San Jacinto River Authority’s Woodlands Division provides water and wastewater treatment services to the more than 100,000 residents of The Woodlands. It finances, builds, operates and maintains the systems, including three regional wastewater treatment plants. The authority works with The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency to pay for improvements and offset the costs through water and sewer fees.

Each year, the SJRA allocates more than $5 million to maintain wastewater lines in The Woodlands, but officials are preparing to bump up spending to $8 million annually over the next five years.

Further reporting revealed that in June, The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency commissioned a work crew to test the conditions of lines by using cameras and smoke testing to identify cracks at a cost of about $75,000.

The SJRA completed an extensive review of the collection system, determining and scoring the “likelihood of failure” and “consequence of failure” of each line segment.

This information was then tabulated into a “risk of failure” score that is used to prioritize projects.

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