RIO GRANDE CITY — Thanks to a $1.9 million loan, Rio Grande City has started planning improvements for the city’s sewage system.
The goal is to have sewage up to par to handle city growth, said City Manager Matt Ruszczak.
City officials heard about the loan from the Texas Water Development Board three months ago, which is for a 20-year term.
“We’re trying to stay proactive with the sewage project,” said Mario Reyna, the project manager from Melden & Hunt. “All lift stations will (meet) future standards.”
Currently, there is no projected start date for the construction. The project is in the engineering phase and city officials are eager to begin the construction soon, Ruszczak said.
The city currently has nine lift stations that help move raw sewage through the city. Seven of the nine stations will be revamped with funds provided by the loan.
From the seven that will undergo construction, five lift stations will be completely reconstructed, Ruszczak said. The other two will be “rehabilitated,” or only fixed at their moving parts.
For the two remaining lift stations, one is almost finished undergoing reconstruction and the other is about to start. The two were funded by a past loan the city received.
These lift stations, or pumping stations, are designed to help carry raw sewage from one point to another. The pipes that the sewage flows through are sloped downward so that the waste can flow in a direction under gravity.
When the sewage reaches a certain point, a station lifts the sewage upward through another pipe system and into a manhole. Then the process starts all over again until the sewage reaches the treatment plant.
Previously in August 2011, the city had $2 million in improvements to its wastewater treatment plant, which allowed the plant to process the sewage for efficiently.
“We are looking at the future and planning ahead to have capacity,” Ruszczak said. “We are making this expense now so that later on we don’t have to play catch up when the city grows.”