STAMFORD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The City of Stamford is beginning phase three of their $20 million water project, starting construction on a new, bigger water treatment plant.

The original Stamford water plant was built in 1952, 70 years old this year, and is showing its wear and tear.

However, even with the aging, the city is still using the sand filter treatment plant.

“It worked out fine for us because we were able to not go without water, prior to that, if we had a major leak on the raw water line, the city could be without water for two or three days until the contractor got in and got everything fixed.” City Manager Alan Plumlee said.

As of 2014, the city was looking for a new water source after severe droughts took Lake Stamford down to 9% of the original fullness. The Texas Water Development Board loaned Stamford $20 million to begin their search for new water source, but the lake’s levels rose within a year.

“We shifted our search from getting a new water source to repairing and replacing our water treatment system.” Plumlee said.

That included a new water tower, replacing a 15-mile long raw water pipe connecting the treatment plant and the lake, as well as the new treatment plant.

The new water treatment plant will use a different type of filtration compared to the old plant, which used sand filtration to filter out mud and bacteria from the water.

“The new one will be more like your air filter, it’ll have a filter inside of a tube, and that’s how it’ll be filtered.” Plumlee said.

The City of Stamford already has the exterior of the building completed, while they continue to work on the interior and putting in the new system, offices and piping.

Plumlee said they expect the water treatment plant to be ready by September or October of this year, and will keep the old plant operational as a back up.

All $20 million of the loan from the Texas Water Development Board was used to cover the three main projects, but the TWDB forgave $9.5 million of the original loan.

Plumlee said the City’s next major project, once the treatment plant is completed, will be replacing nearly 100-year old in-city water pipes and redoing the roads.