Purpose and Background
This document is to advise and guide property owners and/or their contractors who perform the work of the requirements regarding permitting, design, installation, and inspection of a residential connection for irrigation purposes to the Lakeway Municipal Utility District (LMUD) recycled water supply using the reuse water distribution system. Once installed, these systems shall be regarded as a part of the residence’s plumbing system. As with potable water supply, LMUD’s responsibility is the main distribution system and stops at the reuse water meter.
In the 1980s, the Texas Water Commission (the predecessor of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ) adopted the Watershed Protection Rules, as described in Chapter 311 of the Texas Administrative Code, subchapters A, B, E and F, outlining the Highland Lakes discharge ban rule that prevents the discharge of pollutants and treated wastewater effluent into the Highland Lakes. According to the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), there are other water bodies that have watershed protection rules in place, but no other lakes in Texas have a similar ban on wastewater discharges. LMUD, as well as most of the other water utilities that service communities around the Highland Lakes, is subject to this discharge ban. However, even before this ban, since the 1970s, LMUD has been using treated wastewater (“reclaimed water” or “recycled water”) to irrigate golf courses, common areas, parkland, and cedar breaks. As such, LMUD has been recognized as a leader in the beneficial reuse of reclaimed water for land application which is a massive conservation effort.
Type 1 Reclaimed Water
Municipal reclaimed water is treated water that is primarily derived from permitted wastewater treatment plants. These plants primarily treat human waste and wastewater from activities involving personal hygiene and food preparation. These wastes are then treated to the extent at which they are safe and suitable for reuse as reclaimed water. Reuse of untreated wastewater is prohibited.
Under TCEQ Chapter 210 Authorization, LMUD rigorously tests and treats reclaimed water to the highest standards, known as “Type I reclaimed water”, which is regularly monitored, tested, and known to be safe and environmentally friendly. Application of Type I reclaimed water is permitted for use in areas where public contact is likely. Examples of Type I uses include irrigating public parks, school yards, residential lawns, and athletic fields. Type I reclaimed water can also be used for fire protection, food-crop irrigation, and application to pastures grazed by milking animals.
With an expanding population, the demand for water is increasing at a rapid rate while the supply of readily available fresh water is becoming scarcer. The use of reclaimed water has been proven to be a viable solution to significantly conserve the supply of potable water, as well as save on the associated treatment cost for those raw water supplies that would be needed without access to reclaimed water. Type 1 reclaimed water is known to be perfectly safe and an environmentally friendly option for irrigation, which typically attributes about 60% of total residential water use. As we expand our reuse system to more residential locations, it decreases the demand on our potable water treatment plant and saves the amount of water we have to pull out of Lake Travis.
Reuse System Expansion for Residential Application
Launched in 2018, LMUD’s Out of District Wastewater (ODWW) Project is an ongoing effort to extend the utility’s public wastewater collection system into the first 17 sections of Lakeway to protect Lake Travis from contamination by nearby failing septic systems. LMUD’s General Manager, Earl Foster, had the foresight to install reclaimed water lines alongside the new wastewater lines which will allow approximately 300 homes around the Live Oak Golf Course and along the Airpark the option to connect to the Reuse System for irrigation purposes.
Steps for Obtaining a Residential Connection to LMUD’s Reuse System
STEP 1: A property owner in LMUD’s service area makes an inquiry to LMUD about their options for connecting to the Reuse System.
Correspondence should be directed to Stephanie Threinen, LMUD’s Public Information Liaison by phone (512-261-6222 ext. 175), email ([email protected]), or by stopping by the office (1097 Lohmans Crossing, Lakeway, TX) during regular office hours (M-F 8am to 5pm, closed noon to 1pm). Details should include: your name, contact information, & association to the property (owner, builder, etc.); address of connection request; if you are connecting an existing inground irrigation or running new service lines; and the date you would like to get connected.
STEP 2: LMUD determines the feasibility of the request and informs the owner.
Considerations include: type of connection (convert existing inground irrigation vs. running new service lines), distance of property from an existing reuse main line, availability to meet preferred connection date, and other project-related factors at LMUD’s discretion.
STEP 3: Property owner and irrigator complete paperwork and pay applicable fees.
All property owners requesting a connection are required to fill out an “Application and Agreement for the Residential Delivery and Use of Reuse Water.” Customers will also need to have their irrigator fill out a “Complete Application For Plumbing Permit.” Applicable fees must be paid including a tap fee and inspection fee. See LMUD Rate Order for details.
STEP 4: LMUD sets tap and new meter.
LMUD will schedule a time for a representative from their field team to tap the nearby reuse system main line and set a new reuse meter for the property. This may require coordination with the golf course or another entity of the main line is located off the utility easement. The meter will be set within the property’s utility easement at a location chosen at LMUD’s discretion. The meter will be turned off and LMUD will notify the customer when they can begin their connection.
A metal sign will be left by LMUD near the installed meter box which must be posted and displayed at all times once the connection is complete. The sign states that the water is not to be used for drinking purposes. It should be placed near the meter box, facing the direction of the most on-looker traffic (ie: the golf course). If this sign is destroyed, a new sign may be requested by contacting LMUD at (512) 261-6222.
STEP 5: Customer hires an irrigator to run new or reroute existing inground irrigation lines to new meter.
A licensed irrigator hired by the customer will need to follow installation guidelines as provided by LMUD to accommodate either: 1. Conversion of an existing inground irrigation system from potable to reuse water or 2. Installation of a new inground irrigation system tied to a reuse water source that is separate from a potable supplied system (purple pipe installation preferred). See LMUD’s Standard Details for installation requirements (see below) as well as follow all other applicable codes.
STEP 6: Schedule inspections and initiate service.
LMUD will turn on the new meter for testing and inspections; the customer or irrigator should call LMUD at (512) 261-6222 to schedule this turn on. Customer may then use their customer-side shut off for future turn off needs. The irrigation system’s alterations or install will require one (1) inspection before being buried (additional inspections and fees apply if inspection fails). The irrigator should fill out an inspection request form when ready at www.ioinspections.com.
STEP 7: Billing is initiated.
Customers will have a separate account number and receive a separate bill for their reuse service from their water/wastewater account/bill. The bill cycle will remain the same. Since there is no base charge for reuse water accounts, billing is initiated once the meter is in use. See Rate Order for details. Account will be active until a customer fills out a “Request Termination of Service” form or a new customer fills out a “Application and Agreement for the Residential Delivery and Use of Reuse Water” form for the service address.
Standard Details for Residential Reuse Water Irrigation Systems
Refer to our Standard Details for installation requirements (See below for R-1 and WR-1 that are directly applicable). This document, as well as LMUD’s Plumbing Code, pertinent current uniform plumbing and electrical codes, and OSHA safety guidelines should be followed for all connections in order to pass inspections. After consulting these documents, contact LMUD with any pending technical questions (512- 261-6222) or LMUD’s Chief Plumbing Inspector: Troy Gray, IO Inspections (www.ioinspections.com). ALL REUSE SYSTEM CONNECTIONS MUST BE DONE BY A LICENSED IRRIGATOR OR SOMEONE UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED IRRIGATOR. A paid Plumbing Permit including a valid irrigator license and associated driver’s license must be on file with LMUD before work begins.
Prior to Construction
Prior to any construction that requires digging, Texas811 (800-344-8377 or texas811.org) should be contacted to locate all underground utilities. Damage to any marked utility shall be repaired to utility owner’s satisfaction and at the property owner or contractor’s expense.
For new irrigation lines being run for a reuse water connection, it is recommended that service lateral pipelines be purple made from Polyethylene (PE) or Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic.
Customer Side Shut Off
It is illegal to tamper with, obstruct access to, or remove a water meter, including the utility-owned shutoff valve. It is advised to install a customer-side shut off valve with knob or a ball valve handle requiring a quarter turn to shut off or turn on water.
Reuse Irrigation Signage
Prior to initiating service, a sign provided by LMUD indicating the water is not to be used for drinking purposes must be installed and remain visible at all times. The sign should be placed near the meter box, facing the direction of the most on-looker traffic (ie: the golf course). If this sign is destroyed, a new sign may be requested by contacting LMUD.
System Testing, Fees, & Inspection Schedule
Inground irrigation systems connected to LMUD’s reuse water distribution system will require a plumbing permit and one (1) inspection. A failed inspection may incur additional inspection fees. A Plumbing Permit is available at www.LakewayMUD.org. Inspections should be scheduled before being buried directly by the irrigator with LMUD’s Chief Plumbing Inspector: Troy Gray, IO Inspections (www.ioinspections.com). Most inspection requests require a minimum 48-hour turn-around time.
|REUSE WATER TAP FEE|
|(applies to existing taps only)||$50|
|IRRIGATION SYSTEM PLUMBING PERMIT INSPECTION FEES|
|Minimum one (1) S/S inspections||$75|
|Each additional S/S inspection||$75|
R-1: Reclaimed Water Irrigation Service
WR-1: Potable Water Service with Reclaimed Water Irrigation