As the city of Sherman prepares for the opening of its newly-expanded water treatment plant, the city took additional steps to ensure it has ample water resources for years to come.

The City Council approved a nearly $149,000 contract with Freeman-Millican, Inc. for the design of a new water concentrate line for the new facility. The segment that will be designed under the contract could ultimately be the first segment of a line that stretches from the city north to the Red River.

The water line was originally included in the scope of the $28 million water treatment plant expansion, however city officials said it was not needed currently.

“Originally this was contemplated as a part of the plant, but there was sufficient capacity in the existing line,” City Manager Robby Hefton said. “It is not needed currently, but it will be needed in the future.”

The discharge line will take concentrate and brine from the treatment facility and release into a sanitary sewer for disposal and treatment at the waste water facility.

Initially, the project called for a line that would release the concentrate into the Red River, just down stream from the Denison Dam. However, city officials said this would require a significantly longer and more expensive water line than is currently needed.

“That is a 10, or 12 or 13-mile pipeline,” Hefton said. “That's not what this is, although this may be the first leg of that plan.”

The water line will connect to the city's new water treatment plant expansion. The new plant will effectively double the city's capacity to treat water, increasing it from 10-million gallons per day to 20-million gallons per day.

City officials said this increased capacity will not only cover the city's needs for years to come, but also allow it to export water to other growing communities to the south.

“In fact, our city management has already engaged in talks with utility providers in other municipalities and they are extremely excited about what this project will offer to their communities,” Mayor David Plyler said in 2017. “Quickly growing cities like Melissa, Anna, Van Alstyne and Howe will be able to buy water from Sherman for less money than they're spending now and pass those savings along to their citizens.”

Construction on the plant, which began in early 2017, is completed, but the expansion has not been put into service. City officials said they are still waiting for approval from the state of Texas to begin operation on the new expansion,

Officials expected the approval to be given some time in early March.