With the repair of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority underwater raw intake pipe completed, both Cedar Park and Leander have returned to their nonemergency outdoor watering schedules, the cities announced in Oct. 3 news releases.

In Cedar Park, this means residents can run their outdoor irrigation system on their two designated water days per week, and residents in Leander can water once per week on their designated day, according to the release.

Due to drought conditions and in an effort to save water, both Cedar Park and Leander remain in Phase 2 of their water conservation plans.

Residents in Cedar Park in Leander had been under emergency water restrictions since early September. In Cedar Park, these restrictions allowed only handheld hose water with a shutoff sprayer, while residents in Leander were prohibited from all forms of outdoor watering.

The emergency restrictions were necessitated by a leak in the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority pipe that feeds water from Lake Travis to the utility authority’s water treatment plant. The portion of pipe that broke was previously repaired in May 2021 after a leak was found in December 2020.

During the pipe repair, which began Sept. 21, the BCRUA water treatment plant was taken offline, and both cities were dependent on their local water treatment plants during that time.

Because Leander’s local water treatment plant, the Sandy Creek Water Treatment Plant, has a capacity of about 10 million gallons per day, the city aimed to reduce water usage to 9 mgd during the pipe repair. According to the city, average usage during the repair was 7.2 mgd, significantly lower than the average summer water usage of 18 mgd.

Additionally, Leander relies on the BCRUA for a larger portion of its treated water than Cedar Park. Cedar Park receives about 20% of its water supply from the BCRUA, while Leander receives about 60% of its water supply from the BCRUA.

The $1.6 million pipe repair was financed by BCRUA member cities—Round Rock, Leander and Cedar Park. Cedar Park’s portion of the repair was estimated at $426,720, while Leander’s is $746,720. Leander pays more for BCRUA projects because it receives more BCRUA water.

The city of Leander said in the release water connections for construction activities, new water meter installations and pool permit approvals—which were paused during the emergency restrictions—will resume. The city will also reopen the splash pads at Lakewood and Bledsoe parks Oct. 7.

Both Cedar Park and Leander thanked water customers for obeying the emergency water restrictions.

“We also appreciate the many Leander residents who stepped up to the challenge to conserve water during this time,” Leander City Manager Rick Beverlin said in the release. “We know this affected all residents and are grateful to now move to Phase 2 water conservation.”