Lakeway Municipal Utility District Adopts Financial Penalties for Watering Violations

LAKEWAY, Texas—Effective Sept. 8, customers of the Lakeway Municipal Utility District will face specific financial penalties for violating mandatory water restrictions. These restrictions are required by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and are aimed at reducing water consumption by between 15 percent and 25 percent.

At its monthly meeting Aug. 19, the District’s Board of Directors put in place the following penalty structure:

First Offense Warning Letter
Second Offense $200 fine
Third Offense $500 fine
Fourth Offense $1,000 fine
Fifth Offense $2,000 fine

Before the Board’s action Aug. 19, the District did not have a graduated penalty structure in place—only the ability to impose a fine of up to $5,000 per violation and to cut off water service.  The revised policy, consistent with neighboring water utilities, provides escalating penalties. The mandatory water restrictions took effect Aug. 13.

“This is the first time that customers of the Lakeway Municipal Utility District ever have been subject to watering restrictions of this magnitude. Due to the severity of the current drought, it is vital that the District convey the seriousness of watering violations by carrying out this graduated system of financial penalties,” Richard Eason, General Manager of the District, said.
Also at the Board meeting, Eason was directed to develop a plan for around-the-clock monitoring of customers’ compliance with the mandatory water restrictions.

Under the District’s new Stage 2 drought restrictions, customers must adhere to a two-day-a-week watering schedule according to the last digit in their addresses. For odd-numbered home addresses, watering must be done Wednesdays and Saturdays; for even-numbered home addresses, it must be done Thursdays and Sundays. Watering for commercial customers must be done on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“When drought controls return to a less restrictive stage, the number of violations on a customer’s record will be ‘reset’ to zero for watering violations,” Eason said.