Construction underway for new water tower in Cameron County

1 year 4 months 15 hours ago Monday, August 01 2022 Aug 1, 2022 August 01, 2022 9:50 PM August 01, 2022 in News

Cameron County is growing and the East Rio Hondo Water Supply Corporation is now set to expand its service area.

The old water tower in Rio Hondo on FM 510 is finally shutting down and being replaced with a brand new $4.3 million one just down the road. 

"We'll have lights going up in the inside," East Rio Hondo Water Supply Corporation general manager Brian Macmanus said. "We'll have beacon lights on top, of course for airplanes so it'll be visible."

Macmanus says construction is nearly complete on this new million-gallon water tower tank that will add 500,000 more gallons into the system. It's part of the corporation's plans to help keep up with Cameron County's growing population.

"We see a lot of growth coming in northern Cameron County," Macmanus said. "We're excited about it. We're anticipating a lot of growth at the very southern end of our system and potentially on the north end where the outer parkway comes in as FM 1925 comes in."

This new tower will replace two old ones. It will create enough pressure to push thousands of gallons of water through its pipe system daily.

Macmanus says this new project will not require expensive maintenance, unlike the old towers.

"It's corrosion proof," Macmanus said. "The steel up at top is completely encapsulated in glass. There's no painting it whatsoever at all and it has up to a forty-year life span if it's maintained well."

This cylinder concrete-based tower is one of a kind and it's the first bolted glass lined plated elevated tank in the entire state. 

"That hole in the wall is where the water line will come in, and then it'll shoot across the room, and we'll have the control valve in the middle and then the water will make it over to that yellow pipe and make its way up to the top," Macmanus said.

Funding for the water tower is coming from the U.S Department of Agricultural Rural Development, and because of the new technology being used to build this tower, it could help save on taxpayer money in the long run.

"We're always working on new projects," Macmanus said. "There are big developments coming in on the south end of our system. There's a possible another water tower down there in the near future. We're looking at wastewater plants because we're expanding."

The Water Supply Corporation filters and distributes river water from Cameron County irrigation District 2 to more than 8,700 clients across the county. That number has doubled since 2000.

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