LEANDER, Texas — After a number of repairs, City of Leander residents can now ease up on water restrictions.
Leander has now returned to Phase 2 water conservation, as of Oct. 3. This comes after repairs to a 36-inch underwater pipeline.
Under Phase 2, residents can irrigate once a week before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on their designated water days determined by street addresses. Hand-held watering is allowed any time. Designated days are noted by the last number on a street address:
- 1, 5 or 9 – Friday
- 2, 4, 6 or 8 – Wednesday
- 0, 3 or 7 – Sunday
- 1, 5 or 9 – Tuesday
- 2, 4, 6 or 8 – Saturday
- 0, 3 or 7 – Thursday
Leander said it will also resume water connections for construction activities, new water meter installations and the approval of pool permits. Splash pads at Lakewood and Bledsoe parks will also reopen starting Oct. 7 through Oct. 30, which is when they will close for the season.
In early September, officials reported that a crack in a pipeline coming from Lake Travis was leaking about a million gallons of water per day since early August. That water goes from the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) to Cedar Park, Round Rock and Leander.
"That pipeline has had some functional issues and we already have and are working on a plan to replace a big section of that underwater pipeline," said Karen Bondy, the general manager at BCRUA, last month.
Leander's city council approved a permanent fix. It's in design now and construction won't start until next year. It's expected to be completed by 2024.
In the meantime, they began working on a temporary fix.
"We won't be able to deliver from our water treatment plant to those cities. Each of those cities has their own water treatment plant," Bondy said.
Leander Mayor Christine DeLisle talked about what can help the city's water supply on KVUE Daybreak in September.
"We are asking residents to conserve, to cut out the usage that they don't necessarily need for just a couple of weeks and to just cut back and stick this out together," DeLisle said. "We have no doubt that everybody's going to pull together and get through the repair and we're going to be in a really good position on the other side."
Online, DeLisle posted about the repair on Reddit. The post read, "During the repair, we’re going to be without the BCRUA plant completely, which means we need to get water usage down to what it is in the winter. That means no irrigation systems. That’s really what makes the difference between our summer use and winter use."
BCURA pipeline repair work began around Sept. 21, which was expected to last 10 to 14 days. During this time, the BCRUA water treatment plant was out of service, limiting the city's water treatment capacity by more than 50% from 25 to 9 million gallons per day. In July, the average Leander water usage was around 18 million gallons per day.
On Sept. 8, the City of Leander initiated Phase 4 conservation measures, which prohibited all outdoor watering.
"Leander water customers should turn off irrigation system completely and limit other nonessential uses until further notice," the City said in a press release. "Hand-held watering is also prohibited. City officials will monitor overall water demand each day in an effort to reduce citywide use to no more than 9 million gallons per day before and during the BCRUA pipeline repair."
Under Phase 4, the City said it would:
- Turn off irrigation systems at all public parks and city facilities
- Turn off all commercial irrigation systems
- Discontinue water main and line flushing unless necessary for public health, safety and welfare
- Delay acceptance and approval of pool permit applications
- Strongly encourage delay of landscape installation or related building activities, which may require nonessential water uses
Starting Sept. 19, the City said it would:
- Close the Lakewood and Bledsoe park splash pads
- Prohibit all water connections for construction-related activities
- Delay new water meter installations
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