Boil water notice lifted for Florence area

Water boil notice lifted for Florence area

The City of Georgetown has lifted the boil water notice for 720 affected customers in the Florence area. This is the last boil water notice that was issued as a result of low pressure due to the prolonged subfreezing temperatures and from power outages due to the recent winter storm. As a result, no Georgetown water service areas have to boil water prior to consumption.

Water service has been restored to all City of Georgetown customers affected by the storm; however, the system is still recovering, so the Phase 3 essential use restriction remains in place for all customers through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. Customers should limit water use to essential domestic purposes such as drinking and cooking.

The water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes has undergone laboratory tests and results provided to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that indicates the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of Feb. 22, 2021.

Customers might experience sedimentation and/or discoloration resulting from the loss of pressure in the water system. To remove sedimentation and/or discoloration, people should flush household pipes, ice makers, water fountains, etc., prior to using it for drinking or cooking. Flushing simply means letting the water run to ensure no sedimentation and/or discoloration remains in your pipes. Here are some steps people should take:

  • Run all cold-water faucets in your home until air and discolored water stop.
  • To flush automatic ice makers, make and discard three batches of ice.
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle

Please check the outage map for the latest information.

As the water system works to refill the water towers, it does take time for the system to fully respond, and continued fluctuations in water pressure are to be expected.

Due to the prolonged subfreezing temperatures and power outages during the winter storm, treatment and distribution facilities struggled to maintain the water pressure required by law, and many customers lost water pressure or water service.

City crews worked around the clock to address the issues caused by the winter storm, including repairing lift and pump stations, as well as burst water mains.

The City lifted the following boil water notices on Sunday, Feb. 21:

  • The Westinghouse area bound by IH-35 to FM1460 (about 1,700 customers)
  • Liberty Hill (1,300 customers)

The City lifted the following boil water notices on Saturday, Feb. 20:

  • Leander Road/FM2243 area, from Southwest Bypass to Garey Park and the Parkside Parkway area, from FM 2243 to Sam Bass Road (1,300 customers)
  • Wood Road/Hwy. 29 area, bound by I-35, D.B. Wood Road, Hwy. 29, and Williams Drive. The includes the area of Booty’s Crossing Road, Serenada Neighborhood, portions of Berry Creek Neighborhood, and Wolf Ranch Northfork and Southfork (3,600 customers)
  • Areas west of Georgetown, including Santa Rita, Northlake, and Andice (about 11,000 customers)

Water restrictions in place as water system recovers

The City of Georgetown is enacting Stage 3 of the Drought Contingency Plan for all its customers effective 5 p.m. Feb. 21, 2021. Georgetown water customers must severely restrict all use of potable water through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, when a safe and adequate water supply for public use is expected to be restored. Find out more at https://bit.ly/2ZBwG8j.

Updates will be posted to georgetown.org.

Boil water FAQs

Is the water safe for brushing teeth, washing hands or bathing?
During a boil water notice, you can use tap water and soap to wash hands. Be sure to scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and rinse well under running water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

While you can use tap water for bathing and showering, be careful not to swallow any water. Use caution when bathing babies and young children. Consider giving them a sponge bath to reduce the chance of them swallowing water.

Brush teeth with previously boiled or bottled water. Do not use untreated tap water.

How do I prepare food and baby formula?
Use boiled or bottled water only for drinking, cooking, making ice, washing fruits and vegetables, brushing teeth, making baby formula, bathing and cleaning.

Breast feed your baby or use ready-made formula. If you must use water to make formula, use bottled water. If you don’t have bottled water, use water that has been rapidly boiled for at least two (2) minutes.

What about my pets?
You should follow the same boiling water procedures for your pet as you would for yourself.
Is the water safe for washing dishes and laundry?
The water is safe for washing dishes, but you should use hot, soapy water (you may add one tablespoon of bleach per gallon as a precaution) and rinse dishes in boiled water. Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.55°Celsius), or if the dishwater has a sanitizing cycle.
However, until the Georgetown’s water service is restored, please continue to conserve water, using only what is absolutely necessary.

Council adopts new rates for water, wastewater, and solid waste

City Council approved new residential water, wastewater, and solid waste rates at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The new water and wastewater rates come after a cost-of-service rate study was completed this summer by consultants NewGen Strategies and Solutions. The study helped determine the rates and rate structure needed to equitably fund the water utility, including all costs associated with operating, maintaining, and expanding the utility.

The new water rates include an increase of $1.50 to the average residential customer’s base rate. The change also includes reducing the number of tiers for the volumetric rate to help meet the council’s conservation goals.

Volumetric rates (per 1,000 gallons)

2019

2020

Gallons Cost Gallons Cost
0-10,000 $1.75 0-7,000 $1.85
10,001-20,000 $2.40 7,001-15,000 $2.75
20,001-40,000 $4 15,001-25,000 $4.80
40,001-60,000 $6.50 25,000 and more $8.40
60,001 and more $8.50

For the average water user using 10,200 gallons per month, the monthly water bill will increase to $46.25 from $40.98.

The council also approved increasing residential wastewater rates, which, for residential customers, will increase to $34.85, up from $32 per month.

The new water and wastewater rates go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

As part of the study, NewGen reviewed the costs associated with operating, maintaining, and expanding a utility and projected those costs over the next five years to determine the revenue required to cover those costs. In addition to expenses, the cost-of-service rate study also evaluated how the different types of customers, such as residential, industrial, and commercial users, used the system to make sure each type of ratepayer is paying their fair share and treated equitably.

The utility reviews its rates and impact fees every three years to ensure the costs to operate the utility are covered by the combination of rates, impact fees, and bond issuance. The last water rate study was completed in 2018. The rate study completed in 2020 was done a year early due to the anticipated need for additional revenue to help fund significant water and wastewater projects that have been accelerated to meet customer demand. Water rates were last adjusted for residential customers in 2014, nonresidential water rates in 2019, and wastewater rates for all customers in 2019.

The new rates will help meet the guidance set by City Council at its Aug. 25 meeting, which includes complying with set policy, making sure revenues are sufficient to cover the cost of operating the utility, encouraging conservation, and making costs of service equitable among customer types.

For more information on the new water/wastewater rates, the 2020 water rate study, and a year-by-year comparison of the new rates, visit gus.georgetown.org/water/2020-water-rate-study-faq.

Council also approved a $1.37 increase to residential customer solid waste rates to help cover an increase in costs from Texas Disposal Systems, the expansion of the Transfer Station, and the City’s household hazardous waste program. The updated solid waste rates go into effect Nov. 1.

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension offers rain barrel class March 26

[UPDATE: This class has sold out. However, the City offers a $25 rebate for Georgetown water customers who purchase a rain barrel. To find out more, click here.]

The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension is offering a DIY rain barrel class form 6-8 p.m. March 26 at the Williamson County offices, 3151 SE Inner Loop.

The class teaches the basics and benefits of rainwater harvesting and the effects storm water has on the environment. Participants will learn how to collect and use rainwater, as well as how to set up their own 55-gallon rain barrel.

To register for the class, participants must purchase a rain barrel for $50. Georgetown water customers may qualify to receive their rain barrel at no-charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. Addresses must be verified.

To purchase a rain barrel and register for the class, visit bit.ly/3c7AYcG or contact Tamaron Hunt at tamaron.hunt@ag.tamu.edu.

City hosts 2019 Water Summit on Oct. 29

The City of Georgetown is hosting the 2019 Water Summit on Oct. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Public Safety Operations and Training Center, 3500 D.B. Wood Road.

During the summit, representatives from the City’s water utility, Texas Water Development Board, and other area water experts will meet with residents and community leaders to discuss water resources, infrastructure planning, and water utility rates.

Other topics will include conservation and drought management, and attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Doors open at 5 p.m. and presentations start at 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served, and seating is limited. Interested individuals are asked to RSVP at 2019watersummit.eventbrite.com.

City asks water utility customers to cut back on water use

Due to an increase in outdoor water use, the City has reached 85 percent of water treatment capacity and is enacting Stage 1 of the Drought Contingency Plan.

During Stage 1 of the DCP, customers may not water their lawns between the hours of noon and 7 p.m.

What can you do to help? Reduce your irrigation run time by 10 percent or by 1 minute per 10 minutes of watering. A simple way to reduce your irrigation run time is by using the Seasonal Adjust feature on your irrigation controller. This allows you to decrease the irrigation run time by a specified percentage.

Other ways to help reduce water use include only watering on your scheduled days based on your address, not watering during the hottest hours of the day, and never watering on Mondays.

Stage 2 of the DCP is triggered when water use reaches 90 percent of capacity. If water use continues to increase, further watering restrictions will be enacted.

For help setting your irrigation controller, call customer care at (512) 930-3640.

For more information on the Drought Contingency Plan, visit gus.georgetown.org/water/drought-information.

Council approves two-day watering schedule, new drought plan

Changes to the City’s water use requirements ordinance go into effect May 8. City Council approved amendments to two ordinances related to water conservation at its April 23 meeting.

The changes update the City’s water use requirements ordinance to make the current two-day watering schedule for irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers the permanent watering schedule.

The new, permanent two-day watering schedule for irrigation systems and hose-end sprinklers is based on the last digit of customers’ street address.

Address ends in: May water these days:
1, 5, 9 Tue. and/or Fri.
2, 4, 6, 8 Wed. and/or Sat.
0, 3, 7 Thu. and/or Sun.

The two-day schedule spreads watering over six days each week in order to balance demand on the water system. Irrigation is not permitted on Mondays. Monday is reserved as a recovery and maintenance day for the system.

Watering with an irrigation system or hose-end sprinkler should not be done between the hours of noon to 7 p.m. each day. Watering with hose-end sprinklers must comply with the new schedule. Use of a hand-held hose or bucket can be any day and at any time. Other outdoor water uses such as vehicle washing or filling a swimming pool can be done any day at any time.

Violations of the irrigation schedule may result in fines.

Drought Contingency Plan

A second ordinance change that is effective May 8 updated the city’s Drought Contingency Plan to reflect new triggers for additional watering restrictions based on drought conditions. The plan calls for mandatory one-day per week watering schedule for all customers when certain triggers are met. Those triggers are tied to the City’s water treatment capacity, the volume of Lake Georgetown and Lake Stillhouse Hollow, and a variety of other factors.

Rebates

The City is offering three new rebates for customers to improve the efficiency of their irrigation systems. Customers can receive $150 in rebates for each of the following programs: changing their irrigation system from a spray system to a drip system, converting spray nozzles to multi-stream nozzles, or installing a wi-fi enabled “smart” controller to help irrigation systems run more efficiently.

Please visit gus.georgetown.org/water/rebate for more information.

A reminder to all customers: #NoWateringMonday. Monday is a recovery day for the water treatment, storage, and distribution system.

City of Georgetown water customers unaffected by Austin or Belton boil water notices

No portion of the City of Georgetown’s water service territory is under a boil water notice. The City of Georgetown’s water supply comes from the Edwards Aquifer, and two lakes that are part of the Brazos River system, Lake Georgetown and Lake Stillhouse-Hollow. At the current time, Georgetown water supply and water treatment facilities are operating normally and no special actions are required of Georgetown utility customers.

Any changes to the current status or updates will be posted at Georgetown.org.

Georgetown Water Service Territory

The City of Georgetown serves about 44,000 water accounts representing about 110,000 customers in a 450-square-mile service area that includes Georgetown, western Williamson County and north into Bell and Burnet counties.

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