City leaders in Clovis are seeing green these days when they look at water from the treatment plant.
Green like the color of money.
Members of the city’s water policy advisory committee decided Wednesday there is big money to be made by selling effluent — the non-drinkable water discharged after treatment at the city plant.
Committee Chairman and Mayor Pro Tem Randy Crowder said he wants to start a public education campaign about the effluent reuse pipeline project. He also suggested gathering letters of support for the project from the community to help obtain funds from state and federal legislators and other agencies.
“I want to focus all of our energies on the effluent reuse pipeline project for the next six months,” he said.
The $16 million project proposes to supply the city with non-potable water from the wastewater treatment plant.
“This is going to be the tool that gets us by until the Ute water project (is complete),” he said.
The Ute water project would pump water from the Ute Lake Reservoir to eight New Mexico entities, including Clovis.
City Manager Joe Thomas said the project could supply the city with 3 million gallons of water a day.
The water will be used to irrigate city properties and for dust control. Crowder said the city will also sell the water.
“The sale of water is what will make it successful,” he said.
Crowder said a revised engineering study of the project will be finished next month.
Original plans included the Clovis Ethanol plant’s involvement in the project. Company officials canceled their plans last year to build the plant citing a poor market.
The new engineering plan proposes a pipeline cutting a diagonal path through the city from the wastewater treatment plant to New Pond lake west of Clovis, according to Thomas.
Thomas said the city has reserved about $1 million in infrastructure money and has identified at least $100,000 available from the Bureau of Reclamation.
Crowder said he expects to pursue funding of the project in June.
Thomas also disclosed the city is looking at smaller wind turbines for a proposed wind energy farm located near the landfill.
He said the Federal Aviation Administration in October imposed height restrictions on structures such as wind turbines near military bases that conduct low-flying exercises. He said structures cannot exceed 300 feet.
Thomas said the city had proposed a 10 megawatt wind farm using 1 megawatt and 1.5 megawatt wind turbines. He said those turbines are between 350 feet to 425 feet tall.
“We exploring both existing and potential technologies (in wind generation),” he said.