Fort Stockton Water Infrastructure Upgrade Could Cost Millions

Fort Stockton Water Infrastructure Upgrade Could Cost Millions

Fort Stockton's water infrastructure is crumbling and they're ready to replace their pipes, but to do it, they need to find the money.

Two different companies, STW Resources Holding Corporation and Republic Water of Texas, are competing to make a deal with Fort Stockton to fix the water concerns, but both would cost the city millions.

NewsWest 9 spoke to Raymond Velasquez, a man who was born and raised in Fort Stockton. He didn't seem to think anything was wrong with the water.

"I use it to cook, I would drink it, take a bath in it, wash clothes, and everything else and it's good," Velasquez said.

City Manager Raul Rodriguez explained that the problems aren't anything that citizens may notice. The problems are happening as the water travels through an old pipeline from the wells outside of town.

"The pipe that we have underground, it's almost nine miles of pipe, it's over fifty years old. This is a good example right here. It's almost - a little bit thicker than foil, not even a sixteenth of an inch in what used to be an eight of an inch thick steel pipe," Rodriguez told us, pointing to an eroded section of the pipe.

Pipe ruptures happen far too regularly, and each one can cost the city tens of thousands of dollars.

Rodriguez says that as of now, the pipe bursts about once a year, but as the pipe continues to break down, it's going to happen a lot more often.

"You say once a year's not bad, but when it's your lifeline, you know, it makes an impact," Rodriguez added.

Every time the pipe bursts, Fort Stockton relies on two backup water storage tanks in town until crews can repair the pipeline, but they can't rely on that backup forever, and their only option is to replace the water pipe.

"Just replacing the line itself, nothing else, that'll run anywhere from eight to ten million to get that done," Rodriguez stated.

Rodriguez adds that the two companies that could replace the pipe for them probably won't be available for at least two years, and until then they're trying to raise the money and patch the holes.