Tuesday night in the Brown County Water Improvement District No.1's meeting, the City of Brownwood announced the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has given conditional approval to a new facility.
The Supplemental Water Supply Treatment Facility's estimated cost is just over $8 million. In September, the Texas Water Development Board approved loans of $12 million to the city to fund the new plant, as well as improvements to the city's waste water treatment plant.
However, this does not mean the city is going to move forward with the new facility just yet.
Recycling and reusing waste water, or pumping groundwater? Which is most efficient and will provide the cleanest water for Brown County?
Both Brownwood City Manager Bobby Rountree and water district General Manager Dennis Spinks agree, our area needs a secondary water source if Lake Brownwood levels continue to decline.
The water district is focusing on drilling wells to produce groundwater from the hot wells area in the southwestern part of Brownwood.
"We want to drill a test well in that aquifer, get a sample, analyze it so that we can determine whether it's feasible to use it for public water supply and what type of treatment would be required to make it safe to drink," said Spinks.
The cost of drilling one well would cost as much as $1.56 million.
The City of Brownwood would like to move forward with the proposed Supplemental Water Supply Treatment Facility. A facility that would take used water, recycle it, and then be re-used.
"We've been working on this for over a year, however, we have visited with the water district and we want to support the water district with whatever plan is the best," said Rountree.
"If the underground water source does not work out, then I think Brown County Water District would support the city in their quest for treatment of the waste water," said Spinks.
Either way, you'll see a change in your water bill.
"Anytime that you change from your normal source of water and normal treatment to that water, there would have to be an increase in rates," said Spinks.
Officials say whichever secondary water source proves to be more beneficial, citizens would not notice a difference in their water quality.