‘What’s next?’: City leaders address next steps after Houston water emergency

HOUSTONThe report KPRC 2 Investigates uncovered shows the aging water purification plant that lost power on Nov. 27, 2022 is in need of upgrades and repairs to the tune of $1.1 billion.

Money the city of Houston does not have.

“If you read through it, there were some key flags in this report that said there’s a high likelihood of failure for multiple different equipment and structures in that plant. The real question is what’s next?” said Chris Brown, Houston controller.

Houston city leaders briefly addressed what needs to happen now during a committee meeting on Tuesday morning.

One step includes hiring a consultant early next year to oversee the maintenance plan and help the city develop a long-term strategy for fixing the plant to avoid future problems.

“The long-term plan is what type of structure do we need to build? Do we need to build a new plant? Do we need to use the existing plant and add to it for capacity purposes? Or renovate it?” said Dave Martin, Houston City Council member.

The plant, which dates back to the 1950′s, had several aspects listed as moderate to very poor conditions, with the overall electrical for the facilities and its grounds listed in very poor condition with a likelihood of failure as medium to high.

What also concerns the city’s controller is the $1.1 billion in the report.

Since the report is over a year old, if you factor in the rise in costs over the past year, the price tag is now likely much higher.

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