Austin Water asks for $45M loan for wastewater plant upgrades

File Image. (AP Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — City council members are looking into a request from the Austin Water department to take out a $45 million loan to help pay for upgrades to two wastewater treatment plants.

The city says the population growth is the main reason the city needs to help improve the filtration systems.

Jill Mayfield, spokesperson for Austin Water, says the plants can currently handle around 95 million gallons of sewage a day. “We treat it and put clean water back in the river.”

Mayfield says more growth means more wastewater. More people with sewer taps means more goes into the city’s system. “So we have to continue to upgrade it and we’re looking at improving our filtration and the way we are improving this filtration is putting some new technology in one of the plants as well as improving and increasing the size of the filtration system so it can handle more every day.”

Austin Water has two major wastewater plants: the Walnut Creek plant on Farm to Market 969 in east Austin and the South Austin Regional plant near State Highway 130 and State Highway 71.

Council members are also voting on naming the city’s fourth water treatment plant for Berl Handcox. He’s the first African-American to be elected to the city council since Reconstruction. He served from 1971 to 1975.

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