City of Arlington Begins Four-Year, $112 Million Water Treatment Plant Improvement Project
By Traci Peterson, Arlington Water Utilities
Posted on November 02, 2021, November 02, 2021

City of Arlington officials kicked off a nearly $112.5 million improvements project at the Pierce-Burch Water Treatment Plant on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The construction will be the largest plant rehabilitation project in the history of the Arlington Water Utilities treatment division.

Arlington is known throughout the state for its high-quality tap water – it won the Texas Water Utilities Association’s Best Tasting Surface Water Award for the third time this year. The Pierce-Burch plant was built in the 1970s on the site of Arlington’s original water treatment plant near Lake Arlington.

Over the next four years, the construction company hired by the City, Archer Western Contractors will build two new underground clear wells where a total of 8 million gallons of finished water can be stored. High service pumps that send water out from the plant will also be updated. These new features will allow the plant to achieve optimal performance and have redundancies built in that increase energy efficiency and water conservation.

Water Utilities Director Craig Cummings said the City conducted a thorough review of the water treatment operations, including draining pipes and some areas of the treatment plant for close inspection of their condition, as part of the comprehensive optimization plan for Pierce-Burch.

“If you follow a drop of water from start to finish, we looked at everything,” Cummings said. “We did actually put people in pipes. We did drain structures so we could look at them. We did everything we could to inspect what was underground to make sure it was in a shape to be reused or it had to be replaced.”

The project is the first major capital improvement project to be put out for bid under Arlington’s recently adopted Minority/Woman Business Enterprise policy. The project’s deadline to submit a bid was extended to allow potential bidders enough time to research MWBE businesses that could perform work on the project. City staff also worked with the City’s Office of Business Diversity to help the construction company with the best bid find sub-contractors with MWBE ownership. The contract for the improvements met a project-specific goal of 19.6% MWBE participation, which was set based on workforce availability.

“We believe the Pierce-Burch project can be a great example of what can be achieved when the City works with and within its community to engage all,” the City’s MWBE Manager Erica L. Thompson said. “The support and success of small, minority and woman owned businesses are paramount to the overall success of our city and our economy. Most importantly, we believe that all businesses involved will gain new connections that will foster their reputation for future projects in the City of Arlington and surrounding areas.”

For more information on this aspect of the project, visit

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