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Regents clear way for joint Texas State-City of San Marcos sustainability effort

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
May 19, 2017

The Texas State University System Board of Regents has authorized Texas State University to grant a reclaimed water line easement to the City of San Marcos, which will allow the university to move forward on a joint sustainability project with the city. 

The board approved the easement during its quarterly meeting May 19 in San Marcos.

The easement will enable the city's reclaimed water line extension to connect from the public right-of-way along North LBJ Drive to a proposed reclaimed water meter vault located near Sterry Hall and the Edward Gary Street Parking Garage on campus.

Texas State is a key stakeholder in the implementation of the Edwards Aquifer Recovery Implementation Plan (EARIP) and the resulting Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for preserving the quality and quantity of water to protect the threatened and endangered species whose habitats are found in the Edwards Aquifer and San Marcos River. Under EARIP and HCP, the university is committed to reducing withdrawals from both the Edwards Aquifer and the San Marcos River.

Currently, Texas State uses hundreds of thousands of gallons of water annually to supply cooling towers on campus—water obtained through university-owned water rights in the San Marcos River below Spring Lake and the university’s Edwards Aquifer well. Extending reclaimed water service to the university’s thermal plants will allow the university to reduce or eliminate reliance on both the aquifer and San Marcos River for cooling tower water.

San Marcos has offered reclaimed water service to industrial customers since 2000 using effluent that consistently meets Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Type 1 criteria, that is, municipal waste water treated to the extent that it is safe and suitable for reuse where public contact is likely. Following an expansion of the system in 2012, the city initiated a study of the feasibility of extending reclaimed water service to Texas State for cooling tower water and for other municipal and commercial uses.

The central focus of the project design is a 8,800-foot extension of reclaimed water pipeline from the existing system to the university campus. Due to limited on-campus space, a 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank is part of the project.

Project funding includes participation by Texas State, San Marcos, the Edwards Aquifer Authority and the Texas Water Development Board through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,849 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 170,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world.  Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities:  Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.

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