As published in Lakeway Voice, March 2019 .
LMUD Out of District Wastewater Project: Pilot Phase Underway
Lakeway MUD (LMUD) has started the pilot phase of the previously announced Out of District Wastewater (OODWW) Project. As of mid-February, nine homes have been successfully switched from operating on their personal septic system to being hooked up to the public sewer system. We currently have 18 more homes on the list, of which five are emergencies, meaning their septic tank has already failed. The remaining homes have chosen to hook up for personal reasons in advance of us getting to their area. This early option is not available to all, and is more costly than waiting for the Project to reach each area.
As a reminder, in May of 2018, the LMUD Board passed a resolution to move forward with the proposal to install a public sewer system in the first 17 sections of Lakeway (the area designated by the “Old Lakeway” street signs). We have named this our “Out of District Waste Water (OODWW) Project” since this area is, and will continue to be, outside of LMUD’s jurisdiction – meaning home owners will continue to not pay taxes to LMUD. As was stated in the information letters we mailed and e-mailed out and in the public meetings we held in February and March of last year, this continues to be an optional program for the affected home owners. Under no circumstances will home owners be forced to switch from their current septic tank and hook up to the public sewer system. This has been a cause for concern so we want to make this point very clear!
The OODWW Project is currently in the pilot phase, meaning that we are extending existing public sewer lines to just certain areas to accommodate homeowners who have notified us that their existing septic tank has failed, requiring them to either replace it or hook up to this alternative option. Other homeowners in the area have opted in to be hooked up during this phase as well. All home owners who have opted in to be hooked up during this pilot phase have been required to pay an early hook up fee of approx. $3,500 plus electricity to their grinder pump, then a monthly base rate plus their water usage fees. The early hook up fee will not be assessed to those home owners who hook up at their scheduled time in the forthcoming future.
As of now, we are still on track to break ground for Phase 1 of the project on April 1. This will be the start to building the infrastructure and laying the lines required to hook up homes along the Live Oak golf course. This may change, depending on approvals from TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) as well as weather and other factors beyond our control. We will provide more updates as our timeline develops. There are approx. 324 homes along the golf course; we expect it will take at least eight months to lay supporting infrastructure and another 16 months to hook up the opt-in homes. The remaining 676 homes in the first 17 sections of Lakeway (Old Lakeway) will be in Phase 2 of which will take several years to complete.
With this pilot phase, and as the Project moves forward, each affected street will see construction along the right-of-ways where we will be laying the pipe. Our construction crews will do their very best to not disrupt anyone; however, there will be some noise during the daylight hours and some landscaping along the roadway will need to be disturbed. At night, any holes will be covered up and traffic cones will be left out. Construction equipment will be left onsite, but out of the way of traffic. All affected areas will be repaired once the crew is done working on the full length of that street before moving onto the next street. The crew is being careful to take note of any areas of property they may have damaged and will repair this at the same time. PLEASE stay clear of a work site day or night!
We know that any construction is a nuisance to the surrounding residents and we will do everything we can to keep the impact as minimal as possible, but please keep in mind that your neighbors have requested a service that requires some community impact. We appreciate your understanding and attention to this development.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. LMUD has recently contracted with Stephanie Threinen to perform the duties of Public Information Liaison. Her primary role is to serve as our outreach to the community in regard to this project. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 261-6222 x175. Our website (lakewaymud.org) has also been updated with a section dedicated to providing information about the progress of the Project and affected home owners will receive e-mails and/or letters as the Project progresses.
Photo caption: LMUD General Manager Earl Foster with Lakeway Resident Amy Creed stand outside her home at the site of the first grinder pump install in Old Lakeway.