San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 4th, 2016
Buda to study feasibility of storing Edwards Aquifer water in the Trinity Aquifer


This just in from city of Buda spokesperson DAVID MARINO:

BUDA — Engineering firm CH2M will conduct an aquifer storage and recovery feasibility study for the city of Buda under a consulting agreement approved by the city council on Aug. 2. The study is anticipated to be complete within six months.

Under such a system, water would be stored in a suitable aquifer and retrieved for later use, particularly during the dry summer months. In Buda’s case one likely scenario would involve storing a portion of the city’s Edwards Aquifer groundwater supply in the Trinity Aquifer during the winter and recovering it during summer months when water demand is at its highest.

If geological conditions are favorable, aquifer storage also opens up the possibility of “banking” water over multiple years to have available during an extended drought.

“Drought resiliency is one of the huge benefits that ASR can add to an existing water supply,” said Buda water specialist Brian Lillibridge. “It’s especially relevant during a declared drought when our available groundwater is subject to mandatory reductions of up to fifty percent, depending on the severity of the drought. The ability to store a large volume of water to offset pumping reductions is invaluable.”

Aquifer storage is a proven technology that is being successfully used in San Antonio, El Paso and Kerrville, among other places in Texas, and throughout the United States to enhance local water supplies, city officials said.

Council member Angela Kennedy, who also chairs the Buda Water and Wastewater Steering Committee, said she looking forward to the results of the study.

“The ASR feasibility study will help us determine if the Trinity aquifer near Buda is capable of accommodating an ASR project and how we would benefit from implementing it into our current supply. I am very excited about getting started on it.”

 Some components of the city’s ASR feasibility study will include:

  • An assessment of the Trinity Aquifer and its suitability for supporting an ASR project designed for either short- term (seasonal) or multi-year storage
  • Examination of the city’s existing water supply to determine how it may interact with native water when stored below ground
  • Suitability and cost of converting existing city facilities to an ASR project

“We’re excited to have CH2M on board for this effort. They have an extensive background in developing a number of ASR projects of varying size and complexity,” Lillibridge said. “Active projects that CH2M has developed include San Antonio Water System’s large-scale ASR Facility in south Bexar County as well as the City of Kerrville’s expanding ASR system. CH2M has also engaged in some very recent local work to assess the Trinity Aquifer for ASR compatibility, so they are bringing a great deal of pertinent knowledge to this effort.”

The aquifer storage feasibility study is another step in identifying viable water conservation options for the city.

“Making the best and most efficient use of our current supplies through water sharing agreements, water recycling and water conservation pushes the need for more expensive supplies further into the future and saves Buda citizens money. The city of Buda has chosen the most economically and environmentally sustainable approach to managing our water resources,” Kennedy said.

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