BCRUA completes pipeline repairs after break in December

wtp tower
Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority's water treatment plant is located in Cedar Park. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority's water treatment plant is located in Cedar Park. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Crews completed repairs on the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority's broken pipeline May 2 after a Dec. 19 raw water pipeline break on Lake Travis.

Water could be available to the cities of Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock starting May 7 for the first time since December, according to plant General Manager Karen Bondy.

Project engineer Aaron Archer said April 28 that this was an "unusual" break, and the pipe manufacturer had not seen a break like that before on that type of pipe. The underwater pipe likely has a manufacturer defect, Archer said.

Repair costs are not yet available, according to Bondy.

BCRUA is a partnership among the cities of Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock. Leander currently uses 5-7 million gallons per day, or MGD, while Cedar Park and Round Rock use about 1 MGD each, according to the BCRUA.

An about three-week pipeline inspection will evaluate the pipeline, and additional forensic evaluations may be needed, Archer said at the April 28 board meeting.

The city of Leander is expected to reduce its water restrictions from the "water emergency phase" after BCRUA water becomes available for use.

BCRUA will also complete an expansion project and add an automatic transfer switch for power reliability in the coming weeks and months. Bondy gave several plant updates April 28 to the board of directors.

Phase 1C project

Bondy said April 28 that the Phase 1C expansion was supposed to be complete when the winter storm hit and caused damages. Phase 1C repairs are expected to complete at the end of May. The project expands the existing water treatment plant.

The BCRUA board of directors approved a $101,000 change order April 28 for repairs following the storm. Insurance paid $163,000, which covers the change order cost and paid for time and materials for staff to repair other parts of the plant.

PEC automatic transfer switch

Pedernales Electric Cooperative will add an automatic transfer switch, which moves power between the two power substations when one is down, to the BCRUA plant this year. This will replace the existing manual switch.

“We have been focused on power reliability over the last year, particularly,” Bondy said April 28.

While the BCRUA plant has dual feeds from two PEC substations, the plant did not have an automatic transfer switch. With growing demand, the BCRUA asked PEC for an automatic transfer switch, Bondy said.

The switch will cost $89,320.88, which includes about $77,000 for equipment and about $12,000 in labor. Bondy said the project will take 16-18 weeks for material delivery and six weeks for construction.

The BCRUA board of directors will next meet May 26.
By Taylor Girtman

Reporter, Cedar Park and Leander

Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in February 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida.