Repair and improvement projects begin at Hollywood Road Water Treatment Facility

An emergency procurement to remove sludge from the equalization basin at the Hollywood Road Water Treatment Facility (HRWTF) began Monday. Assistant City Manager Floyd Hartman gave a detailed presentation to Amarillo City Council on Sept. 12 detailing the condition of HRWTF, which was built in 1965.

“The issues at the Hollywood Road plant did not occur overnight,” said Mayor Cole Stanley. “These are ongoing maintenance and repair issues that have existed for decades through numerous city council administrations. This council recognizes the need to respond and address these longstanding issues at this facility.”

The recently approved 2023-2024 COA budget includes $17 million for repair/improvement projects at HRWTF.

HRWTF is the only facility in the Amarillo area for septic waste disposal and is available for septic waste disposal from outside the city limits. The River Road Wastewater Plant, built in 1927, does not have a permit from the state of Texas to accept such waste material.

“There are three primary reasons for the state of the Hollywood Road plant,” said Hartman. “A lack of maintenance that goes back decades, the age of the plant and the recent flooding event that caused significant damage to this facility.”

A portion of the HRWTF is located in a flood plain. The facility was constructed before the flood plain was established.

During the Sept. 12 presentation, six critical projects for HRWTF were identified:



Overall site electrical 

Influent pump station

North secondary clarifiers


“These were identified as critical needs to keep the plant in operation before the flooding event,” Hartman said. “At any given time, if we have such problems at this facility then we have to stop accepting waste from haulers. Otherwise this would result in federal and state violations and additional problems.”

The Texas Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are helping the city evaluate the needs at the facility.

In July, several stabilization projects were identified for the HRWTF, including:

Removal, treatment and disposal of contaminated material in the equalization basin, playa remediation

Restoring damaged bar screens

Restoring the grit removal process back to effective operation

Repairing the electrical system in the Motor Control Center.

“There have been very few improvements through the years at this facility,” Hartman said. “Even had the plant been in perfect condition, the recent flooding event would have caused significant damage.”

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