Currently, the City of Round Rock pumps water from two different sources — wells and surface water.
Wells drilled into the Edwards Aquifer provide a small portion of the City’s water, typically less than 5 million gallons per day. The amount of water in the Edwards Aquifer is dependent on continual rainfall, so it’s not a reliable source during the frequent Central Texas droughts. The City operates four wells called the Lake Creek Wells and the Westinghouse Wells. Groundwater is the City’s least expensive source of water, since it currently doesn’t require any treatment other than chlorination.
Surface water from Lake Georgetown, which is operated by the Brazos River Authority (BRA), is pumped from Lake Georgetown to the City’s water treatment plant. The BRA also supplements the water in Lake Georgetown via a 28-mile pipeline from Lake Stillhouse Hollow, near Belton.
One primary difference between groundwater and surface water, is that surface water sources are able to supply a known quantity of water at a required rate, provided the facilities are available to treat, pump, and deliver water at the desired rate. The stated capacity of a groundwater source is typically the maximum rate that the groundwater source can deliver on a reliable basis.
The City has partnered with the cities of Cedar Park and Leander to create the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority to access water in Lake Travis. The City has contracted to purchase Lake Travis water from the Lower Colorado River Authority; though this water is not yet needed by the City.
A new intake pumping station, raw water transmission pipelines, water treatment plant, and treated water transmission pipelines were constructed to prepare for future use of the Lake Travis water. Based on current water use patterns, the City anticipates not using this water before 2020.