APAI has been intricately involved with the development and maintenance of the City of San Marcos’ water distribution system hydraulic model for over 10 years. APAI recently completed an update to the Master Plan to reflect changes to the system since the original Master Plan and to update the development projections. In between these updates, the City has trusted APAI to evaluate service extension requests, adjustments to operational protocols, fire flow availability, and a myriad of other proposed modifications to the distribution system through hydraulic modeling. These modeling requests often require timely turnaround (sometimes less than one day) which is a benefit APAI can offer in that the familiarity with the San Marcos system and hydraulic model is not limited to only one of our professionals, but rather several in both our Austin and Fort Worth offices.
The City of San Marcos relies on both surface and groundwater sources to meet the needs of an ever-growing population. In facing even greater restrictions on harvesting groundwater sources, master planning efforts have focused on transitioning to using surface water sources only, with existing groundwater wells maintained as emergency back-up supplies. APAI has been instrumental in identifying the key projects necessary to move forward with this transition and has recently completed the construction administrative oversight of one such project which will enable the decommissioning of two of the City’s wells.
In addition to assisting the City in the transition from ground to surface water, the update to the Water Master Plan provided the City with the Capital Improvements Plan necessary to continue providing reliable service to the rapidly growing service area. In addition, operational efficiencies were considered in the latest Master Plan Update. Through pump performance testing conducted by APAI, the City will gain valuable knowledge regarding the condition of some of their most expensive and energy intensive assets. Pump testing also offers insight into the effectiveness of various control strategies, the need for additional pumps and/or pump replacement, or incorporation of variable frequency drives as energy saving measures. One unusual but not altogether unexpected outcome of pump testing can be, as was recently the case in San Marcos, the discovery of a malfunctioning valve which was costing the City in pumping energy costs.