As communities evolve, so too do the demands placed on their infrastructure. It comes as no surprise that, with burgeoning population growth and urban sprawl taking place across Texas and thanks largely to the economic growth and prosperity our state is enjoying, more municipalities are relying on trusted partners to solve water supply challenges and to efficiently manage complex water systems that meet both consumer needs and environmental standards.
SJWTX and its subsidiaries have been tapped as a trusted operational partner by municipalities from Texas to California to address aging systems in need of upgrades to meet compliance standards, or help to solve specific consumer concerns or challenges. SJWTX is prepared to deliver a wide variety of services to help communities improve water and wastewater system reliability and quality. Some of the services SJWTX can provide are outlined below.
Water Treatment Plant Operations
San Jose Water Company’s water treatment plant operations experience dates back to the 1950’s with the construction of its 30 MGD direct filtration Montevina Water Treatment Plant and 5 MGD diatomaceous earth Saratoga Filter Plant. The Montevina Water Treatment Plant is currently undergoing a complete conversion to microfiltration to ensure compliance with increasingly stringent water quality regulations and to maximize the use of SJWC’s low-cost, high quality surface water supplies.
In 1994, the Saratoga Filter Plant was completely rebuilt to take advantage of microfiltration technology. This was the first full-scale municipal microfiltration plant commissioned in the United States.
As part of our Texas operations, SJWTX owns and operates two surface water treatment plants located adjacent to Canyon Lake. The Triple Peak Plant was constructed in 1994 and twice expanded to its current capacity of 2.5 MGD. In 2009, SJWTX reconstructed the Triple Peak intake structure to allow continued operations at lower lake levels due to the drought. Our Canyon Lake Shores Plant, first constructed in 2002, was expanded in 2007 to 6 MGD capacity with the addition of CBI Claricone clarifiers, gravity GAC filters and chlorine dioxide initial disinfectant to control disinfection by-products. SJWTX is continually planning for future improvements as needed to maintain an adequate buffer of capacity to serve its rapidly growing service area.
Recycled Water and Waste Water Operations
Our companies experience with recycled water begins in California with our sister utility, SJWC. In addition to providing potable water service, SJWC also provides recycled water through an innovative public private partnership with the South Bay Water Recycling (“SBWR”) Program. Highly treated wastewater is distributed by SJWC for reuse in non-potable applications including landscaping, agriculture, power plant cooling, and industrial processes. Recycled water stretches the potable water supply and is a drought-proof and reliable source of water.
A recycled water retailer since 1997, SJWC is also working with SBWR to expand the recycled water distribution network.
SJWC’s comprehensive Recycled Water Master Plan proposed new recycled water distribution pipelines and uses associated with new customers through 2020. Since 2010, SJWC has led an unprecedented expansion of the recycled water distribution system within its service area and beyond. SJWC’s involvement represents the largest expansion of the SBWR system since it’s original construction and expands the system from approximately 21 miles to 51 miles. In doing so, the Company became the first Bay Area investor owned water company to own, operate, and maintain its own recycled water distribution system.
By 2015, an additional 30 miles of pipeline is anticipated to be in the ground and delivering about 2,700 acre-feet per year of recycled water to more than 250 service connections. SJWC’s involvement represents the largest expansion of the SBWR system since its original construction and expands the system from approximately 21 miles to 51 miles.
With the broad experience of our companies, SJWTX is positioned to be on the frontline of efforts to treat and redistribute water for use in a range of daily commercial and residential functions such as washing, flushing, landscaping and even recharging groundwater aquifers.
Wastewater Permitting and Operational Experience
SJWTX holds Texas Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“TPDES”) permits for its municipal wastewater treatment facilities. All of these are TLAP, or land application permits in which 100% of the treated effluent is land applied rather than discharged to a water body. One permit is for the operation of the wastewater treatment plant located near the City of Bulverde, Texas. The permit for this facility was increased in 2010 from 20,000 gallons per day (“gpd”) to 60,000 gpd. Under SJWTX oversight, the plant expansion was completed in 2012 with the addition of secondary treatment aeration basins, a new clarifier, new tertiary treatment filters and a 600,000 gallon effluent storage tank. Cost saving measures incorporated with the expansion included the addition of sludge dewatering units and the incorporation of plant controls into SJWTX’s regional SCADA system for remote monitoring and operation of the plant. In 2013, SJWTX implemented a rehabilitation project for the original plant aeration basin and clarifier to further extend the life of these 14 year old assets.
SJWTX’s second TPDES permitted facility is located adjacent to the River Crossing Golf Course (RCGC) in Comal County, Texas. The effluent from this facility is used to supplement the well and river water used by the golf course to irrigate the golf course. SJWTX recently prepared and filed permit amendments with the TCEQ for the phased expansion of the wastewater plant that ultimately will be able to supply RCGC with roughly 50% of its annual water needs, thereby reducing its dependence on vulnerable river and well water supplies.
SJWTX has entered into agreements to provide water and wastewater service to a 600 home planned community in Comal County. SJWTX worked closely with both the developer and his engineer through the design and permitting of the wastewater treatment facility and collection system. Based on SJWTX’s recommendations, the developer chose to proceed with an innovative collection and treatment system that offers many economic and environmental benefits over conventional sewer collection systems and is particularly appropriate for relatively low density developments with difficult terrain common to the Hill Country.
In 2009, SJWTX acquired a largely undeveloped 80 square mile service territory from the City of Bulverde, which included portions of the City and unincorporated Comal County. Many landowners in the service territory had been seeking water utility service for residential and commercial use for several years, but had been unable to obtain service due to the City’s lack of available water supplies. SJWTX, with water infrastructure extending from Canyon Lake to the borders of Bulverde, was uniquely capable of extending water service to the City.
In order to thoughtfully plan for water infrastructure development in Bulverde, and to help it equitably allocate the extensive capital expenditures needed, SJWTX developed a 20 year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) for providing potable water service to its current and future customers within its Bulverde Service Area.The CIP identifies a significant number of infrastructure projects, both for water production facilities and major water transmission mains. These water facilities and transmission mains will be needed to support the anticipated population growth within the Bulverde Service Area primarily outside the City of Bulverde. With this Plan in place, SJWTX, landowners, and developers know what infrastructure is needed to provide water service to the area, and what it will cost.
Summary of Land Use within Bulverde Service Area
||Project Costs *
|2010-2014 Water Production Facilities
|2010-2014 Water Transmission Mains
|2015-2020 Water Production Facilities
|2015-2019 Water Transmission Mains
|Totals – Water Production Facilities
|Totals – Water Transmission Mains