Laredo, Texas, USA

Improvements to the Water and Wastewater Services in 15 Colonias of the City of Laredo and Webb County, Texas

Status: Completed


Fifteen of the 41 colonias have been recognized by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) as economically distressed areas. Ten of these colonias are scattered to the east along State Highway 359 (SH 359) and the other five along FM 1472 near the intersection of Mines Road. According to the TWDB 1996 survey of economically distressed
areas, there are approximately 3,725 residents in 900 households in these 15 colonias.

The Laredo Waterworks System and Sewer System, owned and operated by the city of Laredo, provides water and wastewater services for Webb County. It has successfully managed to bring potable water and sanitary sewer service to all of the users within city limits, but has been unable to do so for the 15 colonias in the Mines Road and SH 359 Planning Areas because of their distance from the city’s existing infrastructure.

Currently, colonia residents have to rely on their own capabilities and resources to haul drinking water to their homes, which represents a significant health risk because the water is often stored in open containers subject to contamination. This risk is increased by the use of
substandard on-site wastewater disposal systems, including undersized and inadequately maintained septic systems, pit privies, and open cesspools.


This project will provide first-time water and sewer service to 3,725 residents in 900 households in the 15 colonias of the Mines Road and SH-359 Planning Areas.

Expansion of the Water Distribution System
The water portion of the project will expand the city’s distribution
system 22 miles, 11 miles to Mines Road and 11 miles to SH 359 and
entails the construction of the following components:

  • 290,000 linear feet of waterline
  • two booster stations
  • a 50,000 gallon ground storage tank, a 250,000 gallon elevated
    storage tank and 200,000 gallon ground storage tank
  • 900 water hookups

Expansion of Wastewater Collection System
A gravity collection system will be installed to serve these colonias, with
the exception of one colonia that will have on-site septic tanks. Major
components of the wastewater project include:

  • A 0.125 mgd package wastewater treatment plant
  • A 15-inch trunk line to transport wastewater to an interceptor
    already under construction that will then convey the wastewater
    to an existing wastewater treatment plant.
  • 200,000 linear feet of gravity sewer line and 27,500 linear feet of
    force main.
  • 9 lift stations
  • 900 service connections
  • decommissioning of existing septic tanks


With this project, 900 colonia households, representing an estimated 3,725 residents, will have access to water and sewer services for the first time, thereby significantly improving their quality of life. Eliminating the use of substandard sanitary systems will help provide a healthier environment for all residents of Laredo and surrounding areas.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 32.65M
NADBank Funding US 7.88M - NADBank Grant: BEIF
Other Funding Partners Webb County, Texas
Texas Water Development Board - EDAP loan and grant