Construction on the new water treatment plant on North Auger Road in Midlothian is moving forward. Once completed the new $28 million plant will have the ability to treat six million gallons of water per day.

“We have an 88-acre site that was donated to us by Ash Grove Cement. This is going to be the site for our new, water treatment plant No. 2. That construction project has already started and we have already completed phase one. We are fixing to launch phase two where we build the plant building and the infrastructure,” Midlothian city manager Don Hastings said.

“The new plant will be highly sophisticated,” he said. “It is sophisticated and so computerized that we will be able to run all of the functions of this plant remotely from the existing plant for the new plant.”

Hastings said phase one included construction of a water line connecting into a water line from the Tarrant Regional Water District, which receives water from Joe Pool Lake. Phase one also included the construction of a pump house and water storage tank.

The plant will utilize membrane technology to treat water. The membranes’ cells serve as a vacuum, sucking water through the fibers and filtering out waterborne parasites like cryptosporidium.

Hastings said the plant’s treatment capacity can be expanded later by installing additional membrane modules to increase capacity to nine million gallons of water per day.

Other improvements to the plant include adding a third clarifying pond and filtration. The clarifying process in the treatment of wastewater allows heavy materials to settle to the bottom while other materials such as grease and oils are skimmed off the surface.

Garney Construction Company is the construction manager at risk on the project, with the plant expected to be in operation by the end of 2012.

The Trinity River Authority, which runs the plant for the city, is issuing $11 million in bonds to do repairs and replacement of equipment. Those bond funds will be paid back to the TRA by the city, Hastings said.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1451.