EASTLAND COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Eastland County residents can soon expect some upgrades to their water supply. A corporation overseeing water services for rural parts of the county was just given more than $5 million for updates.

The Westbound Water Supply Corporation of Cisco was approved for $5,366,157 from the Texas Water Development board. $3,756,157 was given as a grant, and $1,610,000 as a no-interest loan. These are funds Westbound Executive Director, Dustin Jones, said will be put to their most effective use in several projects.

Westbound oversees water service to all parts of rural Eastland County that falls outside any given city limits. The corporation was one of seven Texas water corporations chosen to receive state funds to bring upgrades and improvements across various parts of their system.

Aerial shot of Eastland Pump station

The rural water system was designed and laid in the late 1970s, and Jones told KTAB/KRBC it still holds up to demand. But as more and more residents set up shop in the rural hills and plains, demand is bound to increase.

The upgrades the corporation has planned for the funds will prepare the system to handle increased demand and water capacity as growth continues.

The funds have been allocated to projects such as widening pipes outside Eastland and Rising Star from four and six inches to six and eight inches, respectively. This is slated to increase water per minute capacity, as well as the amount of pressure those pipes can handle.

“Most of the PVC has got 160-200 PSI rating. We have some areas in our system that are right at 120,” Jones explained.

Westbound has also planned to put some of the funds towards new water well pumping stations to be installed along an existing line. These new stations will increase production rates possible within the system, without having to buy water from nearby towns.

Map depicting service area of Westbound Water Supply

“As our population grows in the county, then they end up having to shoulder more of the load to provide the water to us,” said Jones.

That begs an important question: For those wondering if this loan will result in a higher price for Westbound Customers, Jones is one step ahead of you.

“Before we started this process, that’s one of the questions they wanted us to answer. So, the engineering firm got with a few other firms, and they evaluated our finances and our monetary situation, and they determined that with the way we’re operating right now, we can absorb the cost of that without going up on rates,” Jones assured.

The funds were approved last Thursday, and Jones said his team is currently in the bidding process for these projects. He admitted it will likely be a long process from start to finish, but reassured that customers will see no interruption of service.