With the symbolic turn of the valve, city leaders from Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock marked the completion of the first phase of a huge project.
A new water treatment plant has been in the works for five years and will help service 200,000-plus residents of this region.
"In 2007, each city was exploring opportunities to have water available for future generations," said George White, president of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority. "And they realized pursuing a course of action for each city wasn't gong to work."
So they joined forces and budgets, partnering with the Brush Creek Regional Utility Authority. Together, they split the cost of $131 million that came in under budget. Water rates are expected to stay steady as rate increases spread out in the last several years have helped cover the cost of construction and operation of the facility.
The goal after finishing phase one of this treatment plant is to generate up to 42 million gallons of water per day. They say this is plenty of water to take care of these fast-growing communities.
"This provides the essential drinking water for public health and public safety," said Chris Lippe, general manager of the utility authority, "and the development of the population in the Williamson County areas."
Phase 2 will include building a water intake on Lake Travis and a raw water pipeline connecting to Phase 1, but that's still years away. These cities are some of the fastest growing communities in the country and they have to be prepared.
When the entire project is finished in several years, the plant is expected to produce up to 106 million gallons a day and as the area's population is expected to hit 600,000 or more in the next 25 years, every drop will be needed.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.
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Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
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The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures will continue across much of Central Texas all day Saturday. A second disturbance associated with the winter storm that slammed Texas Thursday and Friday could lead to more freezing precipitation Saturday and …