Message from Utilities and Environmental Services Director Michael D. Thane
Water is the life of every community. The biggest improvements in protecting public health and controlling disease have come from developing and maintaining a safe drinking water supply. Additionally, growth in our community is, in many ways, driven by the strength and location of our utilities. Our mission is to stay ahead of growth and ensure adequate resources and growth opportunities and provide the highest possible level of service at the lowest possible cost. This is our commitment to the citizens of Round Rock and is evidenced by the fact that we have received exemplary water system status from the State of Texas.
In the water planning business, we have to look down the road 30 to 50 years because of the time required to develop a water supply. In 1978, the City learned a valuable lesson because we relied on one water supply and during a severe drought, we nearly ran out of water. Now we enjoy two supplies of water: one from the Edwards Aquifer and the other from Lake Georgetown/Lake Stillhouse Hollow. The growth in our community will cause us to exceed the second supply in 2014; but we have a plan.
We have created a partnership with the cities of Cedar Park and Leander known as the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority. This authority is tasked with building a regional water treatment and delivery system to deliver water from a third supply, Lake Travis. This supply will provide water for our communities for many years to come. Not only does this partnership meet our long-term needs to our build-out population in the year 2050, water from several supplies will increase the City’s drought tolerance and improve reliability in the event of a catastrophe. The economies of scale created by sharing these facilities will save millions of dollars and ensure that we continue to maintain one of the lowest water rates in the region.
The wastewater system does not require the same long-range planning as the water system; however, the wastewater collection system does require an extensive capital improvement program in order to meet future development needs and to maintain the system so that we meet the stringent regulatory requirements since about 60 percent of the City is located over the Edwards Aquifer. Wastewater treatment for the City takes place at two regionally-owned treatment plants. These plants are currently owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority and operated by the Brazos River Authority. The City also has a pretreatment program in place so that we can monitor our industries' discharges so that they do not contribute pollution to our streams through the improper maintenance and compliance of our wastewater collection system.
Finally, and most important, are the people that work in the Utilities Department. These employees treat and distribute water so that it is safe to drink; and they collect and treat the wastewater so that it is out of our sight. Our employees are second to none in their qualifications and commitment. You will see them working tirelessly to keep the water flowing for fire protection, home and industrial use and most importantly, safe to drink. None of this would be possible without the dedicated, hard working professionals we have on staff in Round Rock who serve our needs, protect our resources, and plan for the future growth of our community.
Thank you for visiting our web site and we hope you enjoy living in the Round Rock Community.
Michael D. Thane, P.E.
Director of Utilities