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WEST TRAVIS COUNTY PUBLIC UTILITY AGENCY
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
May 11, 2012
On May 8, 2011, the City of Bee Cave approved a site development plan for the West Travis County Public Utility Agency (PUA) to begin construction of wastewater treatment facilities on a piece of land referenced as the “Bohl’s Tract”. These new wastewater facilities include a treated effluent storage pond and a wastewater treatment plant that will increase the available wastewater capacity on the West Travis County System. Below is a list of frequently asked questions that the PUA has received from System customers.
1. How much will a new wastewater treatment plant cost?
The new storage pond and treatment plant are estimated to cost approximately $12 million.
2. Will customers have to pay for the plant with high rates, etc.?
The PUA is issuing revenue bonds soon and plans to use a portion of that funding for this project. The bonds will be repaid through revenues generated from the operation of the wastewater system (rates, impact fees and other related wastewater revenues). At this time the PUA does not anticipate a significant rate increase for the purposes of financing the bonds for this project. The PUA will be conducting an impact fee study in the coming months which will determine whether impact fees will increase. The PUA Board has adopted a policy that growth pay for itself to the greatest extent possible, which means that the PUA will structure its financing so the costs for growth will not be borne in any significant amount by current ratepayers.
3. How dire is this situation in Bee Cave?
It is crucial that construction on the new facilities be underway as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of suspension of service to new customers and to maintain compliance with applicable state regulatory requirements.
4. What are the capacity points for the existing plants and when will they reach capacity?
The current plant in the Lake Pointe subdivision has a permitted and design capacity of 675,000 gallons per day. The PUA estimates this capacity could be reached as early as 2014 if growth rates continue to remain at the levels we are seeing now. However, the PUA must be under construction for the new facilities at 90% of this capacity which we estimate could be reached as early as 2013.
5. What is the expected rate of growth in Bee Cave?
The PUA has projected 5% and 10% annual growth rates in its estimates as well as cross-checked against building permits issued by the City of Bee Cave over the past year, which indicate a growth rate of approximately 8.8%.
6. How will this wastewater issue impact the Bee Cave community?
It is the PUA’s goal that the new facilities be built as quickly as possible to avoid any impact to the Bee Cave community. Going forward, the City of Bee Cave and the PUA will need to work together to manage and monitor the approval of new developments requiring wastewater service.
7. Is it possible that there will be a building moratorium?
It is too soon to tell if the PUA will need to suspend service to new connections at some point in the future. However, even if there is such a suspension, the time period should be limited since the PUA has now acquired all the necessary approvals to move forward with facility construction.
8. How soon will the wastewater treatment facilities be built?
We expect to be under construction on the pond by July-August and, if everything goes according to plan, by April-May, 2013 on the plant.
To report Water and/or Sewer Emergencies and Needed Repairs contact WTCPUA Customer Service at 512-263-0125. To report emergencies after hours, please call Operations and Maintenance at 512-788-1155 (available 24 hours a day - 365 days a year).