Townsend said he does not see the possibility of a consensus forthcoming until the city knows more about the quality and location of available well water.
Townsend recommended that the City Council enlist the services of at least two separate engineering firms to address water needs.
One firm would look into the quality of water available in aquifers around the county. Another would look at the facilities at the George P. Morrill, I Water Treatment Plant at Swinney Switch and make recommendations on updating and maintaining that operation.
One goal of the engineering firm looking at the Swinney Switch plant would be to determine if a well drilled at the treatment plant would benefit the city.
Townsend said the city also needs to look at the situation at the Beeville Water Supply District’s raw water intake structure on the Nueces River.
Townsend said one way to deal with the constantly silting river bed at the intake structure might be to build a secondary intake structure.
Another way to solve that problem might be to work out an agreement with the City of Corpus Christi that would provide for routine dredging of the river bed at the existing intake structure.
Townsend referred to the failure of the treatment plant a few months ago, when he said the BWSD needs to have a separate clearwell built at the location to hold water that could be used to backwash the filters should they become clogged.
Townsend said he would like to get some proposals from engineering companies for the preparation of reports, then return to the council with that information.
Mayor David Carabajal told Townsend that his recommendations were sound. But he asked if the interim city manager had considered a need for building additional storage facilities.
Townsend said he had looked into that situation, and he cautioned that the distance between the Morrill Treatment Plant and the water storage facilities inside the city causes problems. At times, that distance makes it hard for the city to control the water levels in the storage tanks.
To address that, Townsend said he would probably recommend drilling some wells within the city.
Townsend is expected to bring additional information as well as proposals from engineering firms for the studies, at a later council meeting.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.