A suit alleging that the Sharyland Water Supply Corporation’s $22 million Water Treatment Plant Number 3 is “deteriorating, non-compliant, and potentially hazardous” was transferred to the 476th District Court last month.
In March the Sharyland Water Supply sued SWG Engineering, HRM Environmental, Ovivo USA and R.P. Constructors for their roles in the plant’s construction, alleging that flaws in the plant have resulted in increasingly hazardous conditions for employees and violations to both state and federal regulations.
Located on the corner of St. Jude Ave. and North Los Ebanos Rd. in Alton, Sharyland Water Supply opened Plant Number 3 in 2016, funding construction through a combination of its own money and United States Department of Agriculture funds.
The site — which includes a two-million-gallon storage tank, a service building, a water irrigation line and a 48-million-gallon reservoir — was billed at the time as a “game changer” for the area, meant in part to service Tres Lagos and Texas A&M University’s McAllen satellite campus.
In its suit, which seeks over a million dollars in damages, Sharyland Water Supply claims that it has discovered a variety of issues at the plant, including cracks — some large enough to have allegedly caused separation between catwalks, beams, and walls at the plant’s basins.
“The result of this inadequate design is failure at the beam-to-wall connection and the potential for total failure of the tanks in their current condition,” wrote engineer Daniel Grant in a sworn statement.
The suit alleges those cracks will allow water to seep into concrete walls and compromise the structural integrity of the basins, resulting in “reduced useful life and overall performance of the structure, production capacity, water treatment efficiency, and an ever increasing hazardous condition in the workplace for Sharyland’s employees.”
Additionally, the suit alleges that multiple improper cross-connections at the plant violate Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, which “must be addressed due to the potential risks to Sharyland’s customers’ health.”
Engineer Richard Correa wrote in a sworn statement that filter-to-waste piping at the plant was improperly designed to discharge, in violation of state standards. In its suit, Sharyland Water Supply alleges breach of contract, breach of warranty and negligence.
HRM, Ovivo and R.P. Constructors have all filed answers to the suit denying allegations.