Designing Infrastructure for Fast Growth in Texas

By Kevin Wilcox

Conroe, Texas, is one of the fastestgrowing cities in America, swept along in part by the rising economic tides of the burgeoning Houston metropolitan area about 40 mi to the south. Increasingly, however, the city is becoming the target of business and commercial developers as well—to the point at which Conroe is actually a net gainer of inhabitants during the day.

As the city's population has nearly doubled in the past 15 years, Conroe's Southwest Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant inched closer and closer to an important benchmark established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). When average flows at a wastewater treatment plant in Texas reach or exceed 75 percent of its permitted capacity for three months in a row, the permittee must initiate engineering and financial planning on a solution to increase capacity.

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