Effluent reuse plan gets $4.1 million in financing

CNJ staff

A Clovis effluent reuse pipeline plan got a giant injection of financing Wednesday afternoon from the New Mexico Finance Authority and the state Water Trust Board.

City Commissioner Randy Crowder said he was floored when he learned the project received a total of $4.1 million from about $5.28 million the WTB reissued in Santa Fe. The money was available, Crowder said, after it was recouped from projects that fell through after receiving WTB approval.

The $12.5 million Clovis effluent water project would take the city’s wastewater and treat it to a level lower than drinking water. That water could then be used to water city and school properties, cutting costs and overall demand on New Mexico American, the city’s water provider.

An effluent reuse pipeline could put about 4 million gallons per day back into some form of usage. That is nearly one-third of New Mexico American’s daily pumping capacity of 11.3 million gallons.

Entities representing 22 water projects around the state were invited to apply for the redistribution. Of those, 14 responded and six projects, including the effluent reuse pipeline, met project criteria set forth by the board.

“We had 100 percent of the design complete, and we were shovel ready,” Crowder said. “We scored really high.”

The award will be coupled with $1 million the city commission approved for the project in January 2010. The first phase of the project is an estimated $7 million, which would cover treatment facilities and a pipeline going as far north as Yucca Middle School.

Crowder surmised that if the city had to, it could pare the first phase down and use the money to at least build the treatment system and get the pipeline to Hillcrest Park. That would also cover Clovis Community College, Parkview Elementary and the city landfill.