Hutto City Council approves first Water Master Plan

Lake Georgetown Lake Georgetown is a significant source of water for cities in Central Texas[/caption]

Hutto City Council members adopted the city’s first Water Master Plan proposal May 5. The project evaluated existing water supply conditions and offered suggestions for managing future water supply needs based on expected growth rates.

Darren Strozewski with DCS Engineering provided an analysis of the city’s water system and outlined project details for City Council members to consider when developing their Capital Improvement Plan, or CIP.

He said the overall scope of the study included three phases:  1) providing an iron sequestering analysis; 2) a water flushing plan; and 3) the water master plan.

When analyzing existing water quality conditions, Strozewski said an increase in iron levels were found in the system, and some of the wells were inoperable and in need of repair.

“The first task we had was to identify the source of the iron—this is not an uncommon problem to have for groundwater sources,” Strozewski said. “We evaluated six wells and found them to be lacking in the dosing requirement to suppress iron from oxidizing. Those [issues] have been addressed and they are doing their job now.”

Strozewski said Hutto is not responsible for chemically treating the water at this time since the city purchases its water supply as a wholesale customer, but that could change as the population continues to grow.

“In the long term, you will reach that breaking point where suppressing that iron with a chemical will be a cost benefit when you start reaching about four million gallons a day of normal usage—you’re about 15 to 20 years away from that right now,” Strozewski said.

Based on the firm’s analysis—and state mandated metrics enforced by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality—Strozewski highlighted some of the findings for the city: 1) Fire flow pressure requirements of the system are adequate through 2027; 2) future pumping improvements will be needed and should be included in Hutto’s five-year CIP in 2022; 3) waterline and control valve improvements should also be included in the 2022 CIP improvement list; and 4) no storage improvements are necessary for the 2022 CIP improvement list.

Council Member Tom Hines, Place 2, asked at what point will the city have more people than capacity to meet basic water supply needs.

City Manager Karen Daly said the city of Hutto has one of the lowest consumption rates for water usage in the area.

“For now, it will last us awhile. We use half as much as a citizen uses in Round Rock or Pflugerville. Leander is the only community that’s lower than us when it comes to using gallons per capita, per day,” Daly said. “Our water rates actually are our conservation method at this point. That’s the beauty of water master planning—you start looking at your future growth, at your capacity and you start to identify future water sources about 20 years before you need them.”