As published in Lakeway Voice, May 2017.
News from Lakeway MUD
The Highland Lakes Firm Water Customer Cooperative
The Highland Lakes Firm Water Customer Cooperative (the Co-Op) was formed in 2012 in response to Emergency orders by LCRA. Earl Foster, General Manager of Lakeway MUD, spearheaded the formation of the Co-op and has served as Chairman since inception. The Co-op is comprised of Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Burnet, Marble Falls, Leander, Lago Vista, Water District #17, West Travis County PUA, Hurst Creek MUD and Lakeway MUD. During the drought LCRA was working on the Water Management Plan for Lakes Buchanan and Travis. The Coop was there looking out for the firm water interests. This was a very public and political process. We are hopeful that the revised Water Management Plan will protect the needs of drinking water customers and prevent the Highland Lakes from being drained to dangerously low levels as we have seen in the past. The new plan raises the trigger levels for releases of water to downstream users, which keeps more water in the lakes. “The plan establishes three sets of operating conditions to determine the availability of interruptible stored water, which is primarily used by agricultural customers downstream (LCRA, 2015)”
The Co-op is actively working on water related issues for the entire area around Lake Travis. There were a couple of House Bills in 2015 that would have had a profound effect on the utilities in the area and The Co-op was able to work with the sponsor of the bills and keep them out of committee. This year has been challenging again with a couple of House Bills that would have a ling lasting financial impact on water utilities. Although the work is not done, The Co-op is also working with TCEQ on a rule change. This rule will help utilities get credit on their water balance for beneficial reuse customers.
Stage 2 Watering Restrictions and Other Conservation Tips
Lakeway MUD will move to Stage 2 Restrictions effective May 1 thru September 30, which is twice per week according to the following guidelines:
- For Odd Street addresses, Wednesday and Saturday are irrigation days.
- For Even Street Addresses, Thursday and Sunday are irrigation days.
- Commercial customers may irrigate on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- No watering is allowed between 10AM and 7PM
The Board stresses that even though our conditions have improved greatly we are facing the beginning of another hot Texas summer. During the hot summer months, we can lose up to 2,000 Acre Feet per day from our combined storage. The strong Southerly winds we are seeing combined with 90+ degree heat increase evaporation significantly. The increased usage also contributes to the loss of AF storage.
The Board encourages all residents and businesses to continue good water conservation habits we have learned over the past few trying years. The citizens of Lakeway have been extremely cooperative during the past drought conditions, and we ask for that same conservation mentality as we go through the summer months.
Lakeway MUD notifies our customers when usage is considerably above normal urging them to check for leaks and/or equipment malfunctions. It is possible for the programmed instructions for sprinkler systems, pools, and water softeners to become distorted and cause unwanted water usage. We also receive tips from citizens, city employees, and others when running water or accumulations of water are observed, ad we react immediately to the issue as solve it as quickly as possible. We also recycle all of our wastewater; after being treated, it is sued to irrigate our golf courses and public medians which prevent using fresh water for these purposes.
Everyone can help by doing their part: here are a few tips we can use:
- Turn off all faucets tightly so they don’t drip; a dripping or leaking faucet can waste up to 200 gallons or water per month! Check all toilets frequently; a leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day!
- Wait until the dishwasher and clothes washers are full to run them; both appliances use a lot of water.
- Limit use of garbage disposals; a lot of water goes down the drain.
- Encourage restaurants you visit to serve water only by request; many glasses of full water are left on the tables.
- Reduce your time in the shower by a minute or two; it’s amazing how much water Lakeway would save if we all practiced this! We also have low flow shower heads available, so come by and get one (they are free).
Thanks again to all for your great conservation efforts over the past few years; let’s continue to practice good stewardship of our valuable resources!
Even though conditions are better, we all need to remember to conserve water. Thank you for your cooperation and support. We will keep you informed on our website and by our banners on Lohmans Crossing and Lakeway Boulevard. For further information, please call 512-261-6222 or visit www.lakewaymud.org.
Old Lakeway Septic Systems
Lakeway MUD gets calls every week from individuals in Old Lakeway whose houses are on septic tanks. Either their septic tank has failed, or they want to know about the possibility of a central wastewater system for other reasons. Sometimes leach fields may not be on the homeowner’s property. Some want to consider putting in a pool but don’t have room because of the leach field. In the next couple of months we are going to be working on an education program and survey to see if there is sufficient interest to warrant further investigation of the possibilities of offering a community wastewater system to Old Lakeway (Out of District) areas. We will keep you informed of our progress.