City begins extensive water treatment plant expansion

A $44.6 million expansion to Temple’s Water Treatment Plant will keep water flowing to residents and businesses for decades to come.


The City Council approved a construction contract for the improvements last month.

“This is an extremely critical project for us,” City Manager Brynn Myers said during the March 4 City Council meeting. “It’s one, if not the largest, capital project we will be working on for quite some time. It’s a very important project and we’re thrilled to get it started.”

The membrane plant consists of cylindrical filters packed with thousands of tiny straws that filter the water. It’s more efficient than the traditional plant, which filters water through sand and anthracite coal.The City has two water treatment facilities – a conventional treatment plant, rated to treat 41 million gallons per day, and a membrane plant, rated to treat about 12 million gallons per day. This expansion will double the capacity of the membrane plant, putting the City’s total output capacity at 53 million gallons per day.

“The membrane plant has a much smaller footprint. It’s half the size of the conventional plant,” Treatment Plant Division Director Colton Migura said.

The expansion not only increases capacity, but adds a pump station, chemical treatment capabilities and two 1.5 million gallon storage tanks to the membrane plant. Currently, water that’s filtered at the membrane plant goes back to the conventional plant for final treatment and distribution, but these additions will make it an independent plant.

“The fact that this is going to have its own treatment and pumping capacity means it will serve as independent operating facility,” Public Works Director Don Bond said. “Right now, it is dependent on the water being finished at the conventional plant and using those pumps to go out to the system.”

Construction began in March and is expected to last about two years.