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LAGO VISTA, Texas – A $17,632 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority will help the City of Lago Vista continue a project to locate and repair leaks in its water supply system to conserve water and save money.
The grant, along with a matching contribution of $53,468 from the city, will allow Lago Vista to carry out a leak-detection survey of more than 30 miles of water delivery pipes. The grant also will help pay for the materials and labor needed to repair leaks once they are found.
Director of Public Works Eric Belaj said he expects the survey to uncover about 50 leaks in Lago Vista’s water supply system, which was constructed in the 1960s and early 1970s. Fixing the leaks is expected to result in annual water savings of more than 15 acre-feet, or roughly 5 million gallons, and save the city about $220,000 over a 10-year period.
Lago Vista, which is just east of the Colorado River in Travis County, had an estimated population of about 8,000 residents as of 2019 and is growing quickly. Belaj said the city approved 138 residential building permits in the past three months, putting it on pace to add more than 500 new homes over a year’s time.
“Our city’s growing at a rapid pace, and summertime heat and rapid growth are taxing the water system,” Belaj said. “This improvement project reduces the need to upsize or upgrade our water treatment plant, because we would not need to treat as much water if we resolve some of the leaky pipe issues we’re facing.”
John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water, said LCRA is proud to back Lago Vista’s efforts to further conserve water.
“As Texans, we appreciate the need to use water efficiently and not waste it,” Hofmann said. “Undetected leaks can waste water before anyone even knows they exist. This project in Lago Vista will not only help stop those kinds of leaks, it will also save the city money and help the city use its current water supply system to meet growing demands. Those are great outcomes.”
Belaj said Lago Vista is getting close to concluding a multi-year effort to improve the city’s water infrastructure. In 2019, a grant from LCRA helped the city pay for a $150,000 project that included a large-scale leak-detection survey and resulting repairs. That project has saved Lago Vista’s water system about 45 million gallons per year.
“Once LCRA partnered with us, it made it so much easier for us to move forward and capture these costly water losses,” Belaj said.
The grant is awarded through LCRA’s Firm Water Conservation Cost-Share Program, which provides funding for water efficiency projects and programs established by LCRA’s firm water customers, including cities, utilities, industries and irrigation and recreational water users. Eligible projects must help reduce or maximize the efficient use of surface water, including water loss reduction efforts, equipment efficiency upgrades and conversion of irrigated areas from raw or potable water use to recycled water.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.