Committee OKs first phase of effluent pipeline

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

The Water Policy Advisory Committee voted unanimously to start a design of the first phase of the $16 million effluent reuse pipeline project that could carry cleaned water from the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The first phase of the effluent water project will run a pipe from the plant to the city landfill and end in either New Pond Detention Dam northwest of the city or in City Park on 14th and Hickory Streets depending on the how much it will cost, according to Mayor Pro-Tem and committee chairman Randy Crowder. The first phase could cost about $10 million.

The city could pay an engineering firm up to $1 million to design the plan, though no agreements have been reached.

This phase will supply non-potable water to the city landfill, Clovis Community College and several Clovis schools to use for irrigation and dust control, he said.

When completed, the project will conserve about 670 million gallons of water a year, according to officials.

“We’ve dropped 10.2 feet in three years and we have 30 feet left in some of the wells; we’ve got trouble,” Crowder said about the Ogalalla Aquifer.

The actual implementation of the design will depend on how soon the city can raise funds for the project, Crowder said.

The city has $1 million set aside for the project in addition to receiving $1.1 million in state and federal funding and will try to obtain grants from the Army Cops of Engineers and the State Water Trust Fund, he said.

Committee members also recommended the City Commission continue canvassing prices of wind generators for a possible wind farm.

Crowder told committee members about a possible location for a wind farm on city-owned land near the city landfill.

The plan calls for building three wind towers at a cost of $1.5 million apiece. The city uses roughly 1.1 megawatts a year. The turbines would be capable of producing more than five times that amount, with the city selling the excess electricity.

The city spends about $850,000 a year for electricity.