Round Rock water through the years
As many people know, Round Rock has always been a popular and exciting city in Texas. Clean and plentiful drinking water was one of the primary reasons that early settlers chose Round Rock as their home. Indeed, Clear Water County was one of the names suggested to the state legislature in 1848 for the land that is now called Williamson County.
In 1896, the city’s first well, Town Well, was drilled. This well was located near the intersection of present day Mays and Main Street. The well often would run artesian and flood the streets. Because of this, the City Council ordered that the well be capped in 1931. Prior to the drilling of the Town Well, Round Rock’s downtown area was supplied with water from Brushy Creek, hauled in by privately owned water wagons.
The city’s first modern water works system included a redevelopment of the Town Well and a 60,000 gallon, 130 foot tall water storage tank. This project was completed in 1935 by the Public Works Administration. Both the well and the storage tank still exist but are no longer operational.
The city continued to survive on ground water, drilling several more water wells in the downtown area. In 1978, a prolonged drought plagued central Texas causing Round Rock’s wells to go dry. For a short period of time, Round Rock had to go without water. This forced the city to explore new, more drought tolerant water supplies.
In 1981, the city opened its first surface water treatment plant. This facility was capable of treating six million gallons per day but more importantly, the water source was Lake Georgetown. Lake Georgetown is operated by the Corps of Engineers and was impounded in 1980.
Round Rock continued to grow, with population booms in the mid 80’s and again in the mid 90’s. This growth and more stringent drinking water regulations, forced the city to expand its surface water treatment plant four more times. Today, the water plant is capable of treating 52 million gallons per day. It is a state of the art facility, outfitted with the most modern equipment and advanced technology.
Lake Georgetown, located 3 miles west of Georgetown, Texas, was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District to control flooding along the San Gabriel River. Impounded in 1980, Lake Georgetown serves as a water supply for Round Rock, Georgetown and the Brushy Creek Municipal Utility District.
Lake Georgetown has 247 square miles of drainage contributing to create a capacity of 124,610 acre-feet. At normal levels, this capacity is equivalent to more than 40 billion gallons of water. The surface area of the lake is 1,310 acres and it is approximately 423 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.