Survey Seeking Homeowner Interest

SURVEY PROPOSAL: The Board of Directors of Lakeway MUD (LMUD), the current provider of potable water services to your home, is evaluating a proposal to construct a public sewer system in the first 17 sections of Lakeway neighborhood that would be owned, controlled, and maintained by LMUD allowing the option for homeowners to connect to it instead of their existing septic tank. We ask that you please give us your response indicating your level of interest in this proposal. A summary of the proposal is below.

LAKEWAY HISTORY: Lakeway was founded in 1962 with the construction of the Lakeway Inn and Marina. Between April 1962 and April 1971, the first 17 residential sections of Lakeway, now known as “Old Lakeway” neighborhood (your neighborhood), were built. LMUD was formed in 1972. LMUD passed a bond issue that included the installation of a sewer system to all Lakeway homes, but the first 17 sections of Lakeway (Old Lakeway) residents chose to opt out since they had just installed their septic systems (which remain under the regulatory control of the LCRA).

ABOUT LMUD: LMUD is a political subdivision, separate from the City, that provides water, wastewater, and water reuse (recycled water used for landscape irrigation) services to the surrounding community. LMUD would be responsible for the installation, management and repairs of the proposed sewer system in Old Lakeway. Old Lakeway customers are currently “Out of District” (OD) customers versus the “In District” (ID) customers who pay property taxes to LMUD. Old Lakeway customers would continue to be OD customers even if the LMUD Board approves the proposal.

TIMELINE: As currently proposed, Phase 1 of the project would commence in approx. February 2019 and consist of constructing the majority of the required infrastructure (e.g., installing approx. 30,000 linear ft. of pipe and constructing a new a lift station, located off Flamingo Dr.). Phase 1 is expected to take about 8 months and on completion should allow approx. 265 homes along the Live Oak Golf Course area the option to be connected to the new system. Phase 2 would follow, allowing the approx. 760 houses in the rest of Old Lakeway the option to connect to the new system.

PROJECT PURPOSE: LMUD has received reports that many septic tanks in Old Lakeway are failing and preliminary indications that those residents may be interested in replacing their private septic systems with a public sewer system.

Some of the potential benefits to Old Lakeway residents and to the entire Lakeway community from replacement of private septic systems with a public sewer system include:

  • Environmental: Avoids leaching of septic waste into Lake Travis (a source for recreation & drinking water).
  • Conservation: New infrastructure allows “reuse” water for landscape irrigation (initially Phase 1 residents only).
  • Resale Value: Simplifies home sale process; Relieves homeowner of maintenance and liability of septic tanks.
  • Lot Use Flexibility: Frees up space to add a pool or expand home (subject to City ordinances & approval).

The potential drawbacks to continuing to use a private septic system include:

  • Cost: Homeowner bears all costs of owning and maintaining septic systems (e.g., learning to use it and properly maintaining it with regular inspections by the LCRA, pumping, repairs, and replacement).
  • Inconvenience: Septic tanks put the highest level of limits on what and how much you can put down the drains.
  • Land Usage: Drain field area must be left vacant, making the space unusable for the homeowner.
  • Undesirable at Resale: Real estate agents report that home buyers generally prefer collectivized public sewer over private septic systems.

OPTIONS AND COSTS: To assist you in your evaluation of this proposal, LMUD has prepared the following estimated costs of service*:

Option 1: Connect as Soon as Available

Homeowner agrees to connect to the sewer line as soon as it becomes available.

Best option for those with a failing septic system or one that is more than 25 years old. Note that LMUD will try to work with you and the LCRA if your septic tank fails before sewer is available to you to avoid installing a new tank.

Monthly Base Rate approx. $14/mo.
Volumetric Rate
(e.g. showing $2.50/1,000 gal.)
approx. $20/mo.
(Varies per household: example based on avg. Dec.-Mar. of 8,000 gal.)
Debt Service Rate (e.g., if paid for 25 years) approx. $60/mo.
Service Fee (system maintenance) approx. $ 5/mo.
_________________________ ___________________________
Avg. Monthly Fee Total $99/mo.

Option 2: Connect Later

Start paying a Monthly Reservation Fee now to obtain a lower rate upon connection, then connect when ready.

Best option for those looking to sell their home in the next few years or would like the option to eventually connect. Maintenance of existing septic system continues to be the homeowner’s responsibility under regulation of the LCRA.

Monthly Reservation Fee approx. $30/mo. (credited toward your future debt service payments)
Once your household decides to hook up to sewer, the Option 1 fees will go into effect with the “Debt Service Rate” varying based on when you decide to hook up. Each homeowner will pay approximately $18k within a 25 year time frame. With the approx. $30/mo. working towards this fee, a homeowner who opts-in to hook up in 5 years can expect to pay a Debt Service Rate of approx. $67.50/mo. for 20 years; 10 years would be $80/mo. for 15 years. This option will also incur a one-time upfront “System Capital Costs” of $4,000 to pay for the installation of your home’s grinder pump (this fee is covered by LMUD for homeowners who choose Option 1).

Option 3: Decline to Connect

Homeowner is not in favor of the option to connect to this proposed sewer system.

If you choose this option, be aware that if your septic system fails LCRA inspection, the replacement system must meet current standards, with the average cost of a new tank being $30,000 (contact LCRA for details). If you or a future homeowner decides to connect to sewer later, you/they will still have the option with the same details as Option 2, but with no “Monthly Reservation Fee” being deducted from the monthly “Debt Service Rate”. This option will also incur a one-time upfront “System Capital Costs” of approx. $ 4,000 to pay for the installation of your home’s grinder pump.

*All costs subject to change. All costs are approximate based on preliminary engineering estimates using current dollars and rates.

NOTE FROM LMUD’S GENERAL MANAGER: Before March 9th please fill out, sign, and submit to Lakeway MUD the form below. You are also welcome to print, complete and mail your response, or call me with your reply. If you have any questions, you are welcome to give me a call, however I would like to reserve this option for homeowners who are out of town; for all residents who are in the area, please try to attend one of our information meetings (dates on reverse side), coming prepared with your questions and comments. I look forward to hearing from you soon! Thank you for your careful consideration of this proposal!

Earl Foster, LMUD, General Manager