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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
April 10, 2013     Hays Free Press
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April 10, 2013

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+ CLASSIFIEDS PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY April 10, 2013 Reclaimed water can save businesses money, Above, Plum Creek Golf Course, which uses reclaimed (or effluent) water from Below, the effluent water run-off from the Kyle wastewater treatment plant. conserve resources BY KIM HILSENBECK tion and permitting process. Using this reclaimed wa- ter also helps conserve high quality water supplies, ac- Irrigation in Central Texas cording to Buda City Manager is a hot - and dry - topic of KennethWilliams. Buda is an- discussion. With the region in thorized to use and sell Type a population explosion over I and Type II reclaimed water the last decade coupled with a from its wastewater treatment near perpetual drought since facility according to a state- 2011, keeping landscapes wa- ment from city officials. tered has become an expen- Kyle's wastewater treat- siveendeavor. Not to mention ment plant, currently oper- one that further depletes al- ated by Aqua Texas, produces ready stressed water sources. Type II reclaimed water, ac- Some local water providers cording to Jason Biemer, utll- are looking at other optionsto ity coordinator for Kyle. Its provide water for irrigation, main consumer of reclaimed Under rules by the Texas water is the Plum Creek Golf Commission on Environmen- Club, which currently uses tal Quality (TCEQ), wastewa- that water for irrigation of its ter treatment plants, such as links. Biemer estimated be- those in Buda and Kyle, can tween 65-75 million gallons sell reclaimed, or effluent, of water annually is needed water. This is the finalproduct to properly irrigate the Plum from water treatment plants. Creek Golf Course. Effluent water can only be "Using drinking water to used for two purposes ac- irrigate crops, or in this case, cording to TCEQ; construc- water a golf course, can be tion-related work such as expensive," Biemersaid. "Us- dust control and certain types ing reclaimed water can lower of irrigation. Those irrigation costs considerably." types are defined by TCEQ He also explained that re- based on whether people are claimed water sources are likely to have contact with the helpful during drought peaks, water during or after applica- as supplies for potable water tion. are used less frequently. Water treatment plants are "Effluent water is a bet- permitted with classifications ter way to irrigate than using for either Type I or Type II ef- drinking water," Biemer said. fluent water. These classifica- Under an agreement with tions relate to the purityofthe the city of Kyle, the manage- water at the end of the treat- ment firm running the course ment phases. See side bar for does not pay for the use of more information, that reclaimed water. How- Under rules for using ef- ever, Plum Creek owns and fluent water, Kyle and Buda's manages the pipe and pump water departments can sell system that allow the efflu- reclaimed water at about half ent water to reach the course. the price of commercial po- Employees from Plum Creek table water, did not respond to requests For commercial entities, from the Hays Free Press prior using reclaimed water can to presstime. mean substantial cost sav- TCEQ rules state that water ings over potable water from produced from a water treat- the main public water stream, ment plant is available at a Any company that wants to certain point along the route begin using effluent water before it is discharged. In the must clear the state's applica- case of the Kyle facility, the PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III The transformation from sludge to useable water is initiated by having the sewage water go through Kyle's "Activated Sludge" process. The-name derives from the type bacteria used to break down solids, called Aerobic Bacteria, which need air to thrive. Air is pumped into the system, keeping the bacteria alive, so as to "metabolize things," and break down solids, said Biemer. After a dozen or so steps in the Activated Sludge process, the water progressively becomes more pure, where eventually, the water exits into Plum Creek. From there, city then pumps the water through a network of pipeline, where the water makes it way to its final destination at the golf course, where it is utilized when appropriate. Type I effluent can be used for the irrigation of residential, commercial, public parks, school yards, or athletic fields and maintenance of impoundments or natural water bodies. Type I reclaimed water can also be used for fire protection, food-crop irrigation and application to pastures grazed by milking animals. Type II reclaimed water can be used to irrigate golf courses, cemeteries, and landscaped areas surrounding commercial or industrial complexes, land restricted from public access, soil compaction and dust control, and cooling tower makeup water. It can also be used for irrigation water that is not likely to contact edible portions of a crop, animal feed-crop irrigation for non-milking animals, and to supply nonrecreational water bodies. TCEQ may, at its discretion, also approve an entity's use of Type II reclaimed water for hydraulic fracturing. effluent water is discharged to irrigate the median in that into Plum Creek if not piped stretch of road. Contractors to the golf course, can also purchase reclaimed Buda's effluent water sys- water from Buda's treatment tem is on the east end of Main facility for use in construc- Street, near the Interstate 35 tion-relatedactivities. section of the road. The signa- According to Brian LaBorde, ture "purple pipe" as it's called Buda's assistant city manager, in the industry - because it's utility and water companies purple - runs along the newly must have public notices renovated portion of Main posted in areas where they Street near H-E-B in Buda. use effluent water. He also The city uses effluent water said the city has plans this fis- BY MOSES LEOS III As the communities of Kyle and Buda continue to grow exponentially, so also grows the number of restaurants and hotels that line the Interstate 35 corridor. Within the past two years, Kyle has seen an increase in full service restaurants, with IHOP and Applebee's opening within the past six months. Rumors are swirling that more full-service restaurants are on the horizon. In Buda, hotels and motels are sprouting at an increased rate, with the Microtel Inn and Suites open- ing during the fourth quarter of 2012. As the hotel and restaurant businesses begin their boom in Buda and Kyle, the need to hire positions is paramount. Entry-level positions, such as servers and hotel clerks, are the most frequently applied for. And the hotels are looking to hire at an increasingly fast rate. So, how does a local resident acquire a position in these fields, and what qualities do managers look for? HOTEL CLERK Hotel clerk is one of the main position that manag- ers look for. The goal of their position is to ensure that cus- tomers are given the utmost attention when they walk in the door. "The primary job of the hotel clerk is to check in and check out people," said Raj Patel, owner of Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Buda. "However, when customers come in, you must take care of them and recognize them." Each and every clerk goes through training, which, ac- cording to Patel "are basic," and are mandated by every hotel chain. But ability to properly give outstanding cus- tomer service is the primary qualification requirement. "You do not have to be overly qualified," Patel said. "But, if the person is responsible, caring and are able to resolve issues, that is what I look for (as a manager) if I am hiring someone." Patel acknowledged that the See HOSPITALITY JOBS, pg. 4D Renee Silvas serves Street in Kyte. hambu~ers COURTESY PHOTO Kyle's wastewater treatment plant. cal year to pipe effluent water to Historic Stagecoach Park and City Park. The process for water treatment in Kyle and Buda is what's called "activated sludge." As Biemer explained, the name derives from the type bacteria used to break down solids, called Aerobic Bacteria, which need air to thrive. Air is pumped into the system, keeping the bacte- ria alive, so as to "metabolize things," and break down sol- ids. After a dozen or so steps, the water progressively be- comes more pure. While Kyle does not offer reclaimed water city-wide, Biemer said the protracted drought in Central Texas makes the prospect intrigu- ing for the city. He said more thorough outreach education is necessary prior to rolling out a system-wide program. The Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle uses Type II water. However, Biemer pointed out that more often than not, the golf course is usually watered during the off hours. Plum Creek Watershed Coordinator Nick Dornak said effluent water is tested weekly. He said they look for elements such as biochemi- cal oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, ammonia and phos- phorous. Irrigation from effluent water is not allowed to run off back into water sources such as the Plum Creek Wa- tershed- that is called "illicit discharge." The water must be absorbed into the ground. For that reason, Dornak said entities using reclaimed water should not run their ir- rigation system when it's rain- ing. Dornak said illicit discharge should be self-reported by the entity using the reclaimed water, though citizens can file reports with TCEQ. Buda does not currently have any commercial entities using effluent water, though Assistant City Manager Brian LaBorde said the city would be happy to speak with com- panies interested in exploring the option. PHOTO BY DAVID WHITE at CenterField Sports Bar & Gdll on Center BY KIM HILSENBECK The Hays County food inspectors were busy in Kyle in March, scoring 23 locations around town. Seven Kyle food stores and restaurants received ex- emplary ratings including Dairy Queen, E1Rincon- cito Del Sabor (formerly Luviano's) and Los Vega Restaurante. Three locations in Drift- wood were inspected; one, Hays City Store, received an exemplary rating. Only one food server in Buda, Shugabees, was inspected. It received an exemplary rating. Several Kyle food serv- ers improved their scores while others went down. For example, The Palm Caf~ #3 went from 16 demerits, which is below average, in August to seven, which is above average, in March. Chick-Fil-A in Kyle received three demerits, which is above average, in March, up from 11, consid- ered average, in August. Garcia's Mexican Res- taurant improved its score from 13 demerits last July to four last month, taking it from average to above average. Los Vega Restaurante improved from its August score of eight demerits, which put it at average, to zero in March, which is exemplary. Mi Rancho Meat Market went from 14 demerits at its last inspection in July to eight in March, taking it from below average to average. Railroad Bar-B-Q in Kyle saw no change in its score from August. The location received seven demerits each time, rating it as above average. Texas Pie Company received three demerits in March for an above aver- age score, down from zero in September, which was exemplary. In Driftwood, Salt Lick and Trattoria Lisina received above average rat- ings, which was no change for Trattoria Lisina from its August inspection. The Salt Lick improved from 10 de- merits, considered average, in August to three in March, putting it at above average. Seven Kyle locations received an exemplary rating with zero demerits: Dairy Queen, Domino's Pizza, Golden Chick, E1 Rinconcito Del Sabor (for- merly Luviano's), Los Vega Restaurante, McDonald's, Mambrofreeze. Ten Kyle food servers received between 1 and 7 demerits for above average scores: Chick-ill-a, Dollar General (both Kyle stores), Family Dollar Store, Garcia's Mexican Restaurant, Z- Food Mart, Piscis Seafood & See FOOD SCORES, pg. 4D