Current drought level
The City is in Standard Conservation, which restricts outside watering to twice every seven days at no more than 1 inch per week. Outside watering is prohibited from noon to 6 p.m. Runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch is also prohibited.
Water Advisory Board presentations
Push for more water continues in 2016
Abundant rainfall in 2015 in no way diluted the need to urgently press forward in San Angelo’s efforts to secure more water.
Our swath of West Texas is one of the few places in Texas where reservoirs remain at less than 20 percent of their capacity. In contrast, East and North Texas reservoirs are brimming with water. Unless significant runoff flows into O.H. Ivie Reservoir, San Angelo’s primary water source, it could be functionally dry next year.
That underscores the continued need to diversify San Angelo’s water portfolio.
And that’s exactly what we’re seeking to do.
At the time of this writing, we are preparing to forward a recommendation from the Water Advisory Board (chaired by 2015 Citizen of the Year Mike Boyd) to the City Council that it approve a wastewater reuse project. That $136 million effort would make available to us approximately 7 million gallons per day.
In short, we’re proposing to treat wastewater back to drinking standards – with a taste that would far surpass not only our surface water supply, but bottled water, as well. Rather than pumping treated wastewater back into a reservoir, where it would be subject to evaporation and the expense of being treated again, this proposal would deliver that water directly to our treatment plant for final purification.
Financing for such a project was made possible by the water rate increase that took effect Jan. 1. The increase will be phased in over five years, with the average residential customer paying $5.88 more per month this year.
The rate increase was critical in three regards:
One, it will return the water utility to financial sustainability. The drought necessarily forced reduced consumption, which in turn significantly reduced revenues. As a result, the utility dipped into its fund balance to pay for operating expenses, depleting it to less than one-tenth of what it should be.
Two, the increase will allow us to more aggressively reinvest in infrastructure. By replacing aging water mains, we can reduce the amount of water lost to leaks and breaks.
Lastly, the rate increase gives the City the financial wherewithal to develop other water sources.
Throughout 2016 (and beyond), we will continue our work with the West Texas Water Partnership, pursuing a regional water source that could serve San Angelo, Abilene and Midland, along with some surrounding communities.
We will also spend this year monitoring the flow of water through the Red Arroyo as part of an effort to determine the viability of capturing and treating its stormwater.
And we will complete the Hickory Aquifer expansion, giving us access to more of that groundwater source. We continue to “bank” our unused allotment from the Hickory for a worst-case drought scenario in which San Angelo must rely upon it as our sole water source.
In the coming months, the Water Advisory Board will be carefully considering a rewrite of San Angelo’s drought contingency ordinance. The aim will be twofold: to adopt conservation measures that are not triggered solely by the amount of available surface water and to encourage efficient usage of what will always be San Angelo’s most precious natural resource.
The Water Utilities Department administers the eight divisions that make up the "water department." Those divisions are:
Water Conservation educates the public on how it can make the most efficient use of San Angelo's public water supply in an effort to conserve and preserve the community's most precious natural resource.
Water Customer Service
Water Customer Service assists citizens in signing up and paying for the utility services provided through the City of San Angelo: water, sewer and trash pickup.
Water Distribution provides maintenance, preventative maintenance, construction and emergency repair to all water and sewer lines throughout the City of San Angelo.
Water Production is responsible for producing high-quality drinking water that meets safe drinking water standards and in sufficient quantities to supply the needs of the citizens and businesses of San Angelo. This is done by operating raw water supply facilities, treating the potable water supply and operating high service and remote pumping stations and tanks.
The mission of Water Quality is to analyze and evaluate the quality of the source water, treated water and wastewater for compliance with state-mandated water quality standards.
Water Reclamation treats wastewater from the City of San Angelo to remove pollutants and to produce an environmentally safe water that meets state permit requirements. All of the reclaimed water is utilized for irrigation.
Water Utilities Maintenance
Water Utilities Maintenance provides maintenance, preventative maintenance and construction to all water and wastewater treatment plants, water pump stations, water storage tanks, wastewater liftstations, more than 150 grinder pumps, the Sewer Farm pump station, Nasworthy Dam, Nasworthy irrigation canal, Twin Buttes Dam, and the Spence pipeline, water tanks and pump stations.