The Riviera Water Control and Improvement District recently announced it had completed installation on a filtration system to remove uranium from the area’s drinking water, bringing it into compliance with TCEQ regulations.

“The water has been tested, the system is up and running and it’s working,” Riviera WCID Board Vice-President Sylvia Arguijo said. 

“It’s been online for going on two months now, but we didn’t want to (announce) anything until we could prove that the system is there and it’s working.”

Arguilo said about a decade ago, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality changed its water standards, which led to Riviera’s water falling out of compliance.

She said the Riviera WCID had been working for several years to secure funding for the project through federal grants.

“Which is why it’s taken so long for us to be able to buy (the filtration system),” she said. “We needed to make sure that these grants were in line because we didn’t want to buy a water system that we weren’t going to be able to afford.”

Arguijo said the Riviera WCID purchased the filtration system for about $250,000, with the overall cost of the project at close to $385,000.

The remaining balance not paid by grant funding, about $96,000 for the filtration system and $67,000 for the water system, will be paid in monthly installments of $1,535 every month.

“That will take about 10 years (to pay off),” Arguilo said.

Arguilo said the Riviera WCID board would continue working to improve their community’s water supply while trying to keep the price of operations at a minimal expense to their citizens.

Future projects for the board, which will also be grant funded, include installing a larger water storage tank, along with a new pump house and generator, as well as drilling a new water well.

“There are a lot of things that we still need to do,” Arguilo said.

Riviera WCID board members include President Toby Yaklin, Vice-President Arguilo, Secretary Hilda Cantu and members Noe Quintanilla and Jerry Martinez. 

Arguilo thanked Kleberg County Judge Rudy Madrid, the county commissioners and the engineers, grant managers and everyone else that made the project possible.

“The water is drinkable now,” Arguilo said. “A lot of us are used to buying bottled water, but we don’t have to do that anymore.”

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at aruiz@king-ranch.com or (361) 221-0251.

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