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Austin Water looks to reconfigure facilities

Friday, July 19, 2019 by Jessi Devenyns

In an effort to increase worker productivity, save money and make its operations more sustainable, Austin Water is looking to reconfigure and modernize its facilities. Although a specific path forward has not yet been selected, there are three on the table. The scenarios, according to Austin Water Chief of Support Services Anna Bryan-Borja, who spoke to the Water and Wastewater Commission at its July 10 meeting, can be likened to car shopping. “If we were talking about a car … we’re going to fix that sedan and continue using it,” is the first option, which will cost $76.2 million. Option two, which is “where we decided to buy a new car” is $81.1 million. The final option is, “The family is growing, the sedan won’t do anymore, we need a bigger car,” which would cost $92 million and could involve acquiring a new site. The study of 15 facilities was done with primarily administrative support centers in mind, though it included six treatment plants. Bryan-Borja told commissioners that the Austin Water executive team will evaluate all the proposals and submit its final recommendations for the next round of capital improvements program budget planning from 2021-2025.

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