Projects Providing Water to County Nearing Completion
Three grants focused on providing Tom Green County with water are scheduled to be completed in the coming weeks.
“It’s very important to be able to improve these water systems,” said Commissioner Rick Bacon, the manager of these grants. “They’re small, local, rural water systems. They don’t have a lot of capital, like the city has, that they can go out and fund a lot of these rural projects.”
The first grant focuses on installing a water tank at Dove Creek in order to help maintain the water supply in the area, and is due to be finished this week.
The second grant is for the Grape Creek area and is being completed in cooperation with Concho Rural Water Corporation. The corporation will drill additional wells and add pipelines; furthermore, a storage tank facility and a pumping facility will be added in order to help improve storage capabilities and supply in the Grape Creek Area. This project is due to be completed August 10.
The third and final grant will fund a project to improve water supply in the Carlsbad area and add service for individuals who cannot afford tap water. The completed project will consist of adding a new water tank, repainting the existing tank, replacing some aging pipeline, and adding residents into the system who were not able to get water from there in the past. The project’s completion date is set for the 15th of August.
“We’re on the final stretch,” said Bacon. “We will be happy to get those closed out and completed. Everybody hopefully will have some improved water pressure, and especially some additional storage capability.”
The first two grants for the Dove Creek and Grape Creek projects are Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). The grants are from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). These $500,000 grants are for water improvements in rural areas of the state. The third grant is a Colonia grant, which is also from TDA.
The county applied for these grants in 2014 due to the drought in the area at the time. The county was notified that the area had received these grants around August of last year, and the projects have been ongoing ever since.
However, the projects were not without their delays. The Dove Creek area was designated a historic site due to evidence of Native American artifacts in the area. Therefore, the historical society performed a survey in the area to make sure no historically significant items were disturbed before the county could drill or put in pipelines.
“So that took about three months, I think, to get that all squared away and get the clearance for that,” Bacon said.
Another project near Lake Nasworthy was completed only a few months after the county received the grant. The small project helped provide water to a handful of citizens.
“[These grants] are important because these were primarily as a result of the drought that we were experiencing,” Bacon said. “In fact, a lot of people don’t realize that along North Concho, we have not received the same amount of rain and watershed that everyone else has, even in Tom Green County.”
Bacon claimed that the water levels of OC Fisher or the North Concho watershed have not been raised as much as other water tables in the area.
“So it still could be an issue, even though the area is not in a drought,” Bacon said. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to monitor how well the wells are producing and different things like that; [we] try to stay on top of that and make sure that water’s available for the residents.”
For more about these projects, take a look at San Angelo LIVE!’s previous report on the grants.