Leander Implements Stage 4 Water Restrictions Ahead of Vital Lake Travis Pipeline Repair

Leander Implements Stage 4 Water Restrictions Ahead of Vital Lake Travis Pipeline RepairSource: City of Leander, Texas
Ryan Anderson
Published on February 12, 2024

Leander, Texas, is bracing for some of the toughest water restrictions as the city sets to embark on crucial repairs to a critical underwater pipeline. Starting February 12, local officials have implemented Stage 4 water restrictions, effectively banning all outdoor watering and urging the cessation of nonessential water uses. The Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority (BCRUA) pipeline, responsible for delivering raw water from Lake Travis, is set to undergo a long-awaited replacement of a 1,418-linear-foot section starting February 28, Community Impact reports.

The city's normal capacity of 24 million gallons per day will implode to just 9 million gallons as alternative water sources will be utilized during the repair process. According to KVUE, Leander's authorities are enforcing the restrictions preemptively, aiming to significantly reduce system demand ahead of the repairs.

Residents and businesses appear to be gearing up for the imminent challenge. One local business, 5th Element Brewing, relies heavily on water for its operations. Co-owner Kim DeStefano Brune, in an interview with KVUE, highlighted the importance of disseminating information through various channels, noting that, "A lot of times, people don't read certain mail notices or, you know, there are different ways that people consume information. So I think doing it different channels would be helpful." The Brunes are proactively saving water and are considering alternatives such as purchasing distilled water or bringing in water trucks.

City officials have sounded the alarm on the necessity of the restrictions, emphasizing the critical need to avoid system failure and potential citywide boil water notices. Leander Chief of Staff Mike Neu expressed to Community Impact confidence in the community’s cooperation, but stressed that without conservation, the city may fail to properly maintain water pressure, a situation which could "possibly allow bacteria to enter the system." The project is anticipated to be completed by the first week of April.

While Cedar Park will not enact additional restrictions, remaining in Stage 3, Liberty Hill is expected to implement similar conservation measures as they receive a large amount of their treated water from Leander, as per Neu's statement to Community Impact. Local governments are encouraging the postponement of any landscaping projects that require extensive water use during the conservation period.

Leander City Council member Chris Czernek expressed the preemptive nature of these measures, saying, "This isn’t, ‘A line just broke yesterday, and now we’re going into something.’ This is absolutely intentional, and it is on purpose. It is necessary so that we don’t have those problems," in a statement obtained by Community Impact.