At Corpus Christi City Hall Tuesday, Council members got word on how they can head off a possible $70 million bill from the state or federal government.
It all has to do with state water rules dealing with Oso Bay that could cause the City to have to make expensive changes to its water treatment plant there.
Council is being asked to spend $538,000 for a study that it hopes will show that the discharge from that plant has little effect on the overall health of the Oso Bay.
The outfall from the Oso Water Treatment Plant is located at the Hans Suter Park off Ennis Joslin. Each day, the pipeline sends some 10 million gallons of treated wastewater into the Oso.
Officials said that it's water that's clean enough to swim in, but the City is worried that the state is going to come in and make it spend up to $70 million to clean up the water even more, in an effort to lower levels of ammonia and oxygen in that effluent water.
The City believes the state won't do an in-depth study of the Oso Bay, and instead will rely on general facts and figures that may not actually apply to what's going on in the Oso.
"When you discharged effluent, you do increase oxygen levels and it could harm some of the plant life and animals that live there," Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez said. "So we're just trying to be as cautious as possible in spending the money now to do the analysis."
This whole issue was simply to inform Council that next week it's going to be asked to spend the money for the study, which is set to begin in August and will take about two years to complete.
That's around the same time the new Texas Commission on Environmental Quality demands may be bearing down on the City.
But armed with the results of the study, the City hopes that it will show that the Bay is fine and it doesn't need to make any new improvements to the plant.
Two years ago, the city spent $550,000 for another study involving the Oso plant. It looked at what the City needed to do inside the treatment plant to lower ammonia levels. The new study basically looks to confirm that those changes worked and made a difference in the Oso Bay.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.