San Benito, Texas-area Water Plant Under Construction

SAN BENITO, Texas -- A water plant to provide service to a growing population east of here is coming along, despite some delays.

The plant, which will be owned by the East Rio Hondo Water Supply Corp., should be completed by February, after which time it would provide services to residents living along FM 510.

The water company's existing plant couldn't keep up with demand, officials said.

B.J. Simpson, president with the water supply corporation, said they currently serve about 6,800 familes in the area, and that amounts to anywhere from 16,000 to 20,000 people.

"We are planning for additional growth," he said, referring to the new plant. "We don't know yet, but there could be several thousand more people a few years from now."

The new plant construction began in October 2003, but rain has delayed the project.

Micah Allison, project manager with Grey Star EIG, the Houston-based company building the plant, said the water facility would provide potable water to people living in the vicinity.

He said the $8 million plant will be able to process up to 8 million gallons of water per day. It will get untreated water from the Rio Grande through an irrigation canal.

The plant will be equipped with three primary clarifiers, a filtering system, several storage tanks, an office building and a 160,000-square-foot reservoir.

Allison said EIG specializes in water projects, adding that it is also constructing a wastewater treatment plant near Bayview.

ERHWS's new plant is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utility sector.