Sewer pipes that haven’t seen the light of day in more than 80 years will finally receive the uprgrades they so desperately need after the Texas Water Development Board on Thursday approved a $1.73 million loan to the city of Van Alstyne for wastewater improvements. The vast majority of that money - more than $1 million in total - will be used to tackle the city’s porous sewer system, which has put undue strain in town’s wastewater treatment plant for years now.

VAN ALSTYNE — Sewer pipes that haven’t seen the light of day in nearly 90 years will finally receive some much needed upgrades after the Texas Water Development Board on Thursday approved a $1.73 million loan to the Greater Texoma Utility Authority for waste-water improvements in Van Alstyne. The vast majority of that money — more than $1 million in total — will be used to tackle the city’s porous sewer system, which has put undue strain on the town’s waste-water treatment plant for years now, said city authorities.


"What little bit of camera (inspection) we’ve done so far shows the system is starting to have high infiltration rates," said Van Alstyne’s Public Works Director Steve White. "Tightening it up will ensure we’re not treating rainwater, farm land materials and dirt, which wear out the system at the waste-water plant."


White said the city will use about a quarter million dollars from the loan to upgrade the treatment facility itself, replacing an aged return sludge pump and purchasing a generator that will provide automation capabilities.


"If I have enough, I’m going to try to put in a system to dry the sludge," said White, who explained such a system would save the city money in the long run.


As for the sewer system, White said the city will employ the latest technologies to minimize inconvenience to residents.


"We’re going to do as much as possible without disturbing the roads. We’ll probably do a lot of underground technologies where we line the pipe. The bottom line is it’ll help the system tremendously."