Updated 01/31/2012 08:32 AM
Spicewood Beach receives first batch of shuttled water
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The Spicewood Beach water woes continue for the community of about 1,100 people, but for now, residents don’t have to worry about running out of water.
The Lower Colorado River Authority is trucking in thousands of gallons of water to help the town before its last remaining well goes dry. Due to the drought and continued water demand, water levels in the well were dropping rapidly.
Monday, the first load of water was trucked into Burnet County, 4,000 gallons worth that is intended to keep the water flowing for everyday use.
Joseph Barbera, the area’s neighborhood association president, is frustrated with what the Lower Colorado River Authority has called a water emergency situation.
"If need be, if the wells are going dry, we need new wells," he said. "Something should have been done a long time ago."
Just last week, water officials issued a Stage 4 water conservation declaration, asking people to limit water use to drinking, bathing and cooking, but it wasn’t enough.
"The well, we have been so concerned about is really starting to show signs of failure beginning. It's not out of service yet, but it's about to be," LCRA spokesman Ryan Rowney said.
LCRA has a responsibility to ensure the trucked-in water is safe enough to drink. Monday’s first load didn't meet quality standards, so thousands of gallons were dumped in a dry golf course fountain.
"We will not produce water to the customer that is not safe to drink. That is a state guideline, a state rule that you have to follow," Rowney said.
LCRA officials said sediment in the hydrant at the source was the reason the first batch of water was wasted. However, the second batch did not have problems, and was stored in a 130,000 gallon tank.
Water experts say the process will continue as long as needed.
"For right now in the next few months, trucks will be brought in here daily or every other day to replenish our storage tanks," Rowney said.
Barbera believes poor planning by the LCRA contributed to the water shortage.
"They waited too long and now we're in this predicament," he said.
LCRA officials say they will foot the bill for the truck loads of water that will keep the community from going dry.