July 29, 2008

County Wants to Replace Water and Sewer Lines at Airport

By David Tewes, Victoria Advocate, Texas

Jul. 29--There was no fanfare Monday when the commissioners court approved plans to seek bids to replace water and sewer lines at Victoria's airport.

But County Judge Don Pozzi said it was a step in preparing for growth at the Victoria Regional Airport.

"All of those lines out there are very, very old," he said. "We've had considerable problems with them over the last several years."

The Victoria Regional Airport Commission agreed Thursday to spend up to $225,000 to begin replacing aging water and sewer lines at the airport.

The biggest problem is the sewer lines are cracked or broken. That allows rainwater to seep into the system and it has to be treated by the city, which charges the airport by the gallon for that service.

The water lines also leak and replacing them will help ensure there is enough water flow to fight fires.

Jason Milewski, a consulting engineer, said the $225,000 would replace only about 5 to 10 percent of the airport's water and sewer lines. But it would solve about 90 percent of the problem, he said.

County Commissioner Gary Burns said there's no better time than now to tackle the problem.

"If we do it now, it will be so much cheaper than if we do it five years from now," he said. "Also, our utility cost is through the roof and has been for years."

The original plan was to install septic tank systems to replace the failing sewer lines because that would be less costly.

"But that's just a temporary fix," Burns said. "It doesn't exactly encourage economic development."

David Tewes is a reporter for the Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6515 or [email protected]


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