Water Committee July 2022 Report

Water Committee Report July 2022

We continue to work with Jacob Martin Engineering on the Smith Well Pump Station and Disinfectant Design. 

The system wide water line pressure study is complete and we are waiting for the results and the final determination from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on the steps we need to take to achieve compliance with current public water supply systems regulations.

Over this last quarter our excellent Maintenance staff has been hard at work.

The Smith Well Emergency Power Supply is now operational. It was mandated by the state to ensure that water can be delivered throughout our supply system during extended power outages. 

A new chlorine pump and mixing tank has been installed at the Upper Storage tank. It will complement the one at the Smith Well. It allows us to better balance our Chlorine levels throughout the system. 

A new RV dump station is under construction. It will replace the old failing station. It was critical to get this up and running before our busy season.  Its new location, will be across the road and just beyond the junction with the road from the upper RV sites. 

We continue to explore strategies for maximizing and managing our existing available water resources: our current wells, rainwater capture from our buildings, and reclaiming and reusing water. 

The more we can use these measures to reduce our need for groundwater extraction for our facilities, the more secure our water future will be. This is a worthy long-term goal. 

More immediately, we cannot ignore the fact that we are dependent one potable well to operate our facility. 

We have entertained options that include drilling a new well or bringing an old existing well on line that meets potable standards. 

A new well is costly and trying to get an existing previously unlicensed well approved is not only costly but the assurance of approval is not guaranteed.

At the workshop yesterday, our new Ranch Manager, Cris Turley, suggested that we consider a small water plant that could produce treated potable water from a number of our better non potable wells along with the Smith Well, allowing us to monitor and balance our well use and more surely secure our supply without the uncertainty of the well drilling process An added benefit, for property owners, would be our ability to provide potable water in bottled and bulk form. He and I will begin to explore this option.

We believe there are government grants out there, that are available to help us with our water system upgrades, water capture, and reuse measures. The new Grants Task Force will get to work discovering what is available and update the board and property owners at the October meeting.

Looking out beyond these efforts, we are aware of the difficulties that property owners, who live at the far ends of the ranch, have in getting to the headquarters for water. Also,, how during extended dry periods those with catchment struggle to secure enough water. Our responsibility has to be to secure our water supply for our facility and make water available for hauling. Our population grows and the demand on our system grows. Providing water has the unfortunate side effect of creating unsustainable dependencies and the belief that we can always provide. But I have to believe there are personal and community-based strategies that can address these situations even though our responsibilities cannot go beyond our current services.  I commit to exploring this issue with those of you who are remote or who cannot capture enough water to meet basic needs. All solutions start with understanding the problem. Reach out to me at my POATRI email so I can begin to gather information and begin the dialog with you.  (l.sunderland@poatri.org )

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