Russell Schreiber, Wichita Falls public works director, says, "The project originated back in 1999 or 2000 back when we were in the drought of record back then."
Daniel Nix, public utilities operations manager, says, "We had 54 million gallons of water treatment capacity at the plant, but the citizens were asking for about 60 million gallons of water, so I didn't have enough plant to treat what the citizens were needing."
And so, the planning began, and changed as leaders learned more about the city's water situation.
"As that drought progressed, we realized we had some source issues, so it kind of morphed into a conventional plant and the reverse osmosis plant which brought on a new source of water," Nix says.
"The purpose of this is to protect our ability to treat water and meet the demands of not only our customers inside the city, but also our wholesale customers, the other area towns around us that we supply water to," Schreiber says.
Cypress is now equipped with the 2010 conventional plant, a new high-service pump station, a new chemical feed system, and new sludge water retrieval facilities, which is able to turn once barely drinkable water from Lake Kemp into bottled-water quality.
"This will allow us to put our treatment capacity right at 76 million gallons per day," Schreiber says.
Which, he says, will take care of the city's water needs for the next 30, 40, or maybe even 50 years.
Nix says the plant also allows for future population growth, as the city will now have the capacity to deliver more water to more residents.
The plant has been fully operational since the end of June.
It cost about $46-million to build, but city leaders say that's money well spent, as 20-million more gallons of water per day can now be processed.