JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — The Lower Colorado River Authority is helping the city of Burnet conserve water while still allowing residents to use facilities to the fullest.
City Manager David Vaughn announced that the LCRA gave the city a $9,469.08 effluent reuse grant for installing effluent reuse irrigation on the three baseball fields at the YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond, 1601 S. Water St. (U.S. 281).
The projected total cost is $58,111.55. The city of Burnet’s part is $28,027.40 in-kind and $20,615.07 for material.
Chemicals will be added to wastewater to make it safe for watering the ballparks and for baseball players to run and slide during games. The treated water is not safe to bathe in or drink.
Evan Milliorn, assistant director of Administrative Services, said the parks use 5,213,616 gallons in a 12-month cycle. That large amount, along with water issues from the drought, forced officials to examine places where water is needed and how best to effectively address that need.
Finding a way to make wastewater useful is a top priority for cities across the state.
“Water is a limited resource,” Milliorn said. “In an effort to continue our practice of being a more sustainable community and adhering to our Water Conservation and Drought Contingency Plans, a water reuse line to the ball fields offers an effective means of conserving our limited supply of potable water.”
Vaughn and Milliorn said the installation is scheduled to begin later this fall to accommodate Burnet Little League, which plays its games at the ballparks.
“(We wanted) to allow other youth and organized recreational programs to get maximum use of the fields during their peak season,” Milliorn said.