Modified irrigation schedule released for customers affected by water pump repair

Thanks to our great customers! Their efforts to reduce outdoor irrigation allowed water service to return to normal much earlier than originally projected. The repaired pump is working properly and the system is fully operational.

As promised, Georgetown Utility Systems is releasing a modified two-day per week outdoor irrigation schedule for the affected area.

Modified Irrigation Schedule for Affected Customers – 

  • Tuesday / Friday:  Addresses ending in 1, 5, 9
  • Wednesday / Saturday: Addresses ending in 2, 4, 6, 8
  • Thursday / Sunday: Addresses ending in 0, 3, 7

For a map of the area where irrigation is limited to twice per week, please click here.

If you need assistance adjusting your irrigation controller, please call Customer Care at 512-930-3640. A reminder to ALL Georgetown Utility Systems customers – #NoWateringMonday

This chart summarizes the modified irrigation schedule. The first row is the day of the week, and the boxes underneath indicate the last number of the address. For example, on Tuesday any addresses ending in 1, 5, or 9 can irrigate.
Area where automatic outdoor sprinkler use is limited to two days per week.

Area where automatic outdoor sprinkler use is limited to two days per week.

Water pump repair update for June 28

This past weekend there was a large water pump failure that reduced pumping capacity. The repair was successfully completed last night and the pump has been placed in service. City staff is monitoring and testing the system to ensure the replacement pump is operating correctly. All customers should be experiencing normal water pressure. If you do not have normal water pressure please call 512-930-3640.

Suspension of outdoor irrigation and unnecessary water use is still in effect until the City ensures the system is operating at full capacity. Hand watering is permitted at this time. The affected area is generally west of the City of Georgetown and around Liberty Hill. For a map of the area where irrigation is still suspended, please click here.

All notices related to lifting the boil water notice were hand-delivered by 6:30 p.m. yesterday. Updates on this situation will continue to be posted at Georgetown.org. A reminder to ALL Georgetown customers – #NoWateringMonday!

Crane lifting the motor that powers the repaired pump
Placing the motor on the repaired pump.
Finishing the motor installation on repaired pump
Installing the motor on the repaired pump
Repaired pump and motor installed
Map of area where outdoor irrigation is suspended.

Water pump repair update for the afternoon of June 27

Thanks to the good work of our customers, the water system is maintaining adequate pressure allowing the City to lift the boil water notice. The boil water notice was due to low pressure in the system. In situations like this, the City follows state protocol to ensure customer safety.

An independent laboratory has confirmed there are no contaminants in the system. The water is safe for consumption.

This past weekend there was a large water pump failure that reduced pumping capacity. Currently, the repaired pump has been delivered and city employees are working to reinstall and test the pump.

Suspension of outdoor irrigation and unnecessary water use is still in effect. Hand watering is permitted at this time. The affected area is generally west of the City of Georgetown and around Liberty Hill. For a map of the area where irrigation is still suspended, please click here.

Updates on this situation will be posted at Georgetown.org. A reminder to ALL Georgetown customers – #NoWateringMonday!

Repaired pump delivered to North Lake Pump Station
City employees using a crane to place the pump at the pump station
City employees dropping the pump into “the can”
Reinstalling the repaired pump at North Lake pump station
Preparing the motor to test the repaired pump

Council to consider voluntary annexations

The City Council is hosting public hearings for four voluntary annexations at the Aug. 8 and Aug. 22, 2017, meetings. Council will consider action on these items on Sept. 12, and a second reading is to be determined. Most of the described properties below are being annexed in anticipation of future development.

Public hearing for the voluntary annexation of 244.54 acres in the Fredrick Foy Survey, Abstract Number 229, located approximately along and between the intersections of Ronald Reagan Boulevard at CR 245 and Ronald Reagan at Sun City Boulevard to be known as Highland Village.  Location Map – Highland Village

Public hearing for the voluntary annexation of 133.1 acres in the Fredrick Foy Survey, Abstract Number 229, located approximately along and between the intersections of Ronald Reagan Boulevard at CR 245 and Ronald Reagan at Sun City Boulevard to be known as Berry Creek Highlands.  Location Map Berry Creek Highlands

Public hearing for the voluntary annexation of 120.5 acres in the Lewis P. Dyches Survey, Abstract Number 171, located approximately west of the intersection of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and CR 245 to be known as Somerset Hills – 1.  Location Map – Somerset Hills 1

Public hearing for the voluntary annexation of 314.5 acres in the Burrell Eaves Survey, Abstract Number 216, located approximately northwest of the intersection of Hwy. 195 and Shell Road to be known as Somerset Hills – 2.  Location Map – Somerset Hills 2

After holding the required public hearings, the City Council will consider an ordinance for the annexations at dates to be determined. For additional information, contact the Planning Department at 512-930-3575 or email planning@georgetown.org.

Unified Development Code Amendments Office Hours

The City of Georgetown Planning Department will be hosting office visiting hours for anybody interested in learning more about the amendments, running through specific development examples, and addressing any questions you may have. Dedicated office hours will be held Wednesday, January 4 from  4 to 6 p.m.

To sign up for a specific appointment please email planning@georgetown.org. If a different time or day works better for you please do not hesitate to email us so we can arrange a separate time. UDC proposed changes can be found at udc.georgetown.org/udc-amendments.

Collection Box for Expired Medications

A safe way to dispose of unwanted or expired medications is now available in Georgetown on a year-round basis. A secure medications collection box is located in the lobby of the Public Safety Operations and Training Center at 3500 DB Wood Road. Lobby hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Georgetown Police Department is the first police station in Williamson County to offer controlled substance collection via a collection box.

Collecting unwanted drugs keeps them from being poured down a drain, flushed down a toilet, or put in the household trash. Pharmaceuticals put in our wastewater system can affect water quality and aquatic life in our creeks, rivers, and lakes.

Gary Hertel with Texas Disposal Systems explains why medications shouldn’t be put in household trash. “If a customer throws medications in the trash, that trash is put into large 18-wheeler trailers here in Georgetown and hauled to the landfill,” says Hertel. “In that process at the transfer station, if it’s raining or we have more water in the waste, those items can leach out into the drainage system and it winds up in the sewer system.”

Removing unwanted prescriptions from your home also reduces the risk of overdose or misuse by someone in your home. “Williamson County is not immune to the drug abuse problem,” says Rosana Sielaff with LifeSteps Council on Alcohol and Drugs. “Children are accessing drugs from the medicine cabinet in their own home or in the homes of friends or grandparents. We are very happy to see this permanent drop-off box, because we know that we need a place here that the community can bring their unused or expired medication,” says Sielaff.

Last year more than 1,200 pounds of medications in were collected in Georgetown in Drug Take-Back Day events sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

When the collection box is full, it is shipped to a location in Texas where the medications are incinerated, according to Jordan Fengel, solid waste and recycling coordinator for the City of Georgetown. “The medicines are destroyed. So we completely eliminate the environmental hazard and concern.”

The medications drop box is for unwanted or expired prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, supplements, or pet medicines. Items not accepted in the collection box include thermometers, needles, syringes, IV fluids, medical devices, or illegal drugs. Medications cannot be accepted from businesses such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, or other institutions or businesses.

The medications collection box was funded by a solid waste management grant from the Capital Area Council of Governments.

For additional program information, go to the City of Georgetown website at recycle.georgetown.org/medsdropbox.

Unified Development Code Amendments Proposed

Newspaper AdThe Unified Development Code (UDC) Advisory Committee will hold a public hearing and consider proposed amendments to the UDC on Wednesday, October 12th at 3:00. The proposed amendments primarily pertain to the transportation, utility, and subdivision provisions of the code. The UDC Advisory Committee and City staff have worked throughout the year discussing and refining draft language with the intent to improve City street and sidewalk design and ensure adequate public improvements through development. The draft proposals are now ready for further public discussion and input. The meeting on October 12th will be held at the Historic Light and Water Works Building at 406 W. 8th Street and will be followed by additional public meetings at dates to be determined. The proposed amendments can be found here.

 

Flood Study Meeting July 19

A meeting to solicit public input on flooding issues and flood prone areas in Georgetown will be held on Tuesday, July 19. The meeting by the City of Georgetown in partnership with the Texas Water Development Board will be at 6 p.m. at the Georgetown Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Avenue, Georgetown, Texas, 78626.

The purpose of the meeting is to solicit comments and information from the public with respect to flood prone areas and flooding issues as part of a regional flood protection planning study. The goal of the study is to identify areas of flooding and develop mitigation strategies such as drainage maintenance and potential future drainage projects.

For more information, contact Wesley Wright, systems engineering director for the City of Georgetown, at (512) 931-7672 or at Wesley.Wright@georgetown.org. If you are unable to attend the meeting, you may contact Wesley Wright by email or phone to report on areas where flooding occurs.

Water Use Up 70 Percent

water spray-1000With daytime high temperatures at or near 100 degrees every day in July, water use has jumped dramatically. Daily water consumption for Georgetown water customers has increased from 18 million gallons in early June to more than 30 million. That’s an increase of nearly 70 percent.

Electricity use also is up. Energy consumption increased about 18 percent from early June to early July.

Given these big jumps in water and electric use, most customers are likely to see a significant increase in their utility bills in the coming weeks.

“This is a pattern we see each summer,” says Leticia Zavala, customer care director for Georgetown Utility Systems. “Customers can look at their monthly bill and see the consumption period and the amount of water or electricity used during that time. When high temperatures hit the upper 90s or 100-degree mark, then utility bills reflect that a few weeks later.”

During the hottest summer months, about 75 percent of the drinking water produced each day is used for lawn irrigation.

Taking a few steps can help to moderate the increase in your monthly bill. Here are a few ways you can conserve water and electricity:

  • Set your irrigation system to water only two days each week.
  • Drop two or three minutes on the zone run times on your irrigation controller.
  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature when you are not there.

For more ways to conserve water and electricity, go to gus.georgetown.org/conservation-programs. To see your regular watering days, go to water.georgetown.org.

Georgetown Utility Systems Receives National Recognition for Reliability and Safety

Georgetown Utility Systems has been recognized recently in two national recognition programs by the American Public Power Association, which represents more than 2,000 public power utilities in the U.S.

RP3 color copyrightGeorgetown was one of 29 electric utilities in the nation to earn Reliable Public Power Provider, or RP3 status this month. Georgetown earned the platinum level recognition for providing reliable and safe electric service to its customers. The recognition was based on a review of the electric utility operations by a panel of 18 experts from across the nation.

The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. In total, 219 of the more than 2,000 public power utilities nation-wide hold the RP3 designation.

“RP3 utilities stand out as industry leaders, who dedicate themselves to providing safe and reliable electricity to their customers,” said Brent McKinney, an electric utility director in Springfield, Missouri and chair of RP3 review panel for APPA. “These designees demonstrate public power’s commitment to constantly improving best practices and raising the bar for other service providers.” McKinney presented the RP3 honors on April 4 during APPA conference in Minneapolis.

Glenn Dishong, utility director for Georgetown Utility Systems, presented the RP3 recognition at the City Council meeting on Tuesday. “There are eight utilities in Texas that are now recognized as Reliable Public Power Providers. There are three recognition levels, gold, platinum, and diamond. Georgetown Utility Systems is platinum—better than gold,” said Dishong.

In addition to the RP3 honor, the Georgetown electric utility also won a safety award at the APPA meeting. The award is based on an annual evaluation of utility’s safety program.

“Our results are that we had 78,000 exposure hours—that means 78,000 hours that the linemen are out there working in a high-voltage environment, and still coming back safe, said Dishong. “We had no incidents. We actually took first place.”

This year 107 utilities nationwide were recognized for the Safety Award of Excellence by APPA.

RP3 platium group 2016 web

Georgetown Utility Systems employees are pictured above.

Georgetown Utility Systems will provide 100 percent renewable energy by 2017. Currently more than 90 percent of the city’s energy needs are provided by a wind power contract. To learn more about Georgetown Utility Systems, go to gus.georgetown.org.