Tom Kula

Imagine a day without water. That appeal is part of a nationwide effort this month to increase awareness about the crucial need for water infrastructure funding.

Many people don’t think about where their water comes from when turning on the faucet for clean water to drink, cook, shower and much more. Behind those faucets are hundreds of miles of pipes and massive pumps in place to transport raw water from lakes and other water sources, treat the water and deliver it to customers.

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) provides treated drinking water for more than 1.6 million customers in 10 North Texas counties. We also provide regional wastewater service for many area communities. As pipelines age, regulations increase and communities grow, we must keep our infrastructure in good working condition and plan for future growth. After years of lower rates, we can no longer wait to make the investments needed. Over the next year, NTMWD will spend approximately $430 million maintaining and expanding our water and wastewater systems.

The largest project is the proposed $1.2 billion Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir in Fannin County. NTMWD is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency on final permitting for the project, and we hope to begin construction in 2018. More than $125 million has been spent to date on land purchases, engineering work and other construction planning.

Another key project, the $150 million Trinity River Main Stem pump station and pipeline, is planned to pump water from the Trinity River south of Dallas to the East Fork Reuse Project (also called the "wetlands") in Seagoville. At the “wetlands,” the water is filtered by plants, then pumped through 40 miles of existing pipeline to Lavon Lake, where it is blended with other water sources for future treatment and use.

NTMWD is also expanding capacity at the Stewart Creek West wastewater treatment plant, working closely with the City of Frisco to optimize this critical facility to meet current and future needs.

Despite these significant projects and costs, water remains a good value. The NTMWD wholesale rate for treated water is about one-fourth a penny per gallon. Communities then transport the water to their customers. Water and sewer rates for residents and businesses are set by the cities or community water providers. 

For more information about water rates and major NTMWD projects, visit our website at www.ntmwd.com.

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