As published in Lakeway Voice, July 2020.
Exercising Our Freedoms, Maintaining Community Values
On July 4, 1776, the United States of America declared their independence from Great Britain, thereby giving birth to a new nation. Our Declaration of Independence was written as a statement resisting the tyranny of British monarchical rule of the time, promising Americans the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To this day, it has never been amended. Our freedoms are what we celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors each year on Independence Day!
As we exercise our freedoms, we each prioritize a different set of values. Communities develop through the shared values of the governing body, individuals, local businesses, social groups, and even utility providers who reside there. Lakeway, for example, was founded in the early 1960s as a remote, resort-style community with vacation homes for residents seeking to escape city life. To this day, the golf ball water tower at the entrance to Lakeway serves as a reminder of the community’s roots in leisurely activities. Now, 50-plus years later, Lakeway continues to be recognized for their golf courses, but with over 15,000 residents and flourishing business opportunities, it is also one of the Austin area’s premier communities.
…we’d like you to consider that even your choices with water use matter towards the continued health and safety of your community.
Unfortunately, some values get taken for granted. While communities provide a place for people to live, work, play, worship, dine, shop, and congregate, our modern lifestyle requires access to clean water, sanitation services, reliable electricity, and internet connectivity. Each of these utility services requires a vast amount of infrastructure to be put in place and maintained. Although used by nearly all residents every day, the amount of work invested in these necessities goes by unnoticed…unless it fails.
It’s become increasingly evident that how we exercise our freedoms impacts others. For example, taking too much of something can leave a supply shortage for someone else who may desperately need it. On the other hand, giving generously can provide for someone who may have had no other option. This concept extends into more choices than you can imagine. At Lakeway Municipal Utility District (LMUD), a local water provider, we’d like you to consider that even your choices with water use matter towards the continued health and safety of your community.
Buried beneath the streets, buildings, and homes of Lakeway, we maintain an intricate system of pipes carrying water and wastewater to and from our treatment plants. We use the same lake, Lake Travis, that drew the attention of the original developers of Lakeway as our only source for raw water, which we then treat to drinking water standards. Each of our customers is connected to our water system and relies on it to provide the adequate pressure, quality, and quantity of clean water they need in their home or place of business. They also rely on our pipes to carry away all wastes that go down drains so it can be safely treated. When someone pollutes the lake, over irrigates their lawn, flushes wipes down a toilet or grease down a drain, the whole community suffers because it puts unnecessary strain on our system.
Thankfully, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, our community has had adequate water supply, electricity, and internet connectivity. The men and women at these utilities value their ability to provide reliability in services that add a bit of normalcy to the daily lives of the residents they serve. As a part of the Lakeway community, we appreciate that, as we do our part, you do your part by conserving water and properly maintaining your plumbing system…because we’re all in this together.
Written by Stephanie Threinen, Public Information Liaison, LMUD. Earl Foster is the General Manager of LMUD.