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After almost reaching water capacity prior to COVID, Pecos is preparing for the future

The plan for the city is to spend about $50M on water and wastewater infrastructure over the next 10 years.

PECOS, Texas — A surge of people flooding into Pecos for oil and gas job a few years ago pushed the city's water source to close to its limit.

Plans surrounding water are always based on population growth, and city leaders are looking to make big improvements so nothing like this ever happens again.

"People aren't going to be able to stay here if they don't have water so we want to anticipate growth and try our best. We'll never be 100% accurate, but we can at least try to be in the ballpark," said Donnie McKinney, director of environmental services.

With oil and gas picking back up, it's perfect timing to be thinking about the city's water systems again.

"The long-term is to replace most of the clay pipe and things like that, the older stuff that's been here for quite a long time. Short term, any failing pipes. That's what we're looking at," McKinney said.

If population grows from oil activity, more water is what's needed.

"What necessitates these types of improvements is it actually saves money in the long run. We don't have to do emergency repairs, we can spread it out, and we're not scrambling. We can wait and see what the price of pipe is. McKinney said. "We just started in the water division, a construction crew and that's who we're going to use to start replacing."

The city is planning to spend around $50M on water and wastewater in the next 10 years.

They want to drill 10-20 more wells and replace more water lines within the next year or two.

Currently, they're planning to better manage their wastewater ponds by adding an extra filtering system to both speed up the process and allow for more water capacity.

Council hasn't approved this master plan yet, but the environmental services department says they expect it'll be approved in the next few months.