CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
MEADOWLAKES — Meadowlakes is collaborating with Marble Falls to use treated wastewater to irrigate its golf course, officials say.
On Feb. 21, Marble Falls City Council approved the deal with the city of Meadowlakes for a 10-year contract that would supplement the gated community’s current system of irrigating the Meadowlakes-owned Hidden Falls Golf Course.
“It’s an excellent utilization of resources for the benefit of both communities,” Marble Falls Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel said. “It’s an incremental approach to diversifying (Marble Falls’) approach to using effluent (treated wastewater) to irrigate land that’s currently being irrigated with potable water.”
For the past three years, Marble Falls has extended so-called “purple pipe” from the city wastewater plant to use treated wastewater to irrigate the city-owned Johnson Park and its softball field.
The city of Meadowlakes, which also utilizes purple pipe, primarily uses its own treated wastewater and captured stormwater runoff on the golf course in addition to potable (untreated) lake water through a contract with the Lower Colorado River Authority.
Meadowlakes officials pay LCRA $145 per acre-foot with a maximum of 75 acre-feet of lake water for the supplemental agreement.
Along with the usage rate, the city is obligated to pay LCRA about $5,000 per year as part of a “reservation fee,” whether or not they use any lake water.
In the Marble Falls deal, Meadowlakes would pay $145 per acre-foot of effluent water without a “reservation fee.”
The deal also involves Marble Falls crediting Meadowlakes approximately $40,000 for Meadowlakes’ agreement to purchase materials to extend purple pipe from Johnson Park in Marble Falls to the Meadowlakes city limits several blocks away. Marble Falls city crews would provide the manpower to construct the new 8-inch line.
“We’ll take it from their main (line) and put it into our system,” Meadowlakes City Manager Johnnie Thompson said. “That supplements our existing effluent. Instead of buying lake water, we’ll be buying (Marble Falls treated effluent) to supplement ours.
“Basically, it’s going to save us about $5,000 per year,” Thompson added.
Kraenzel believes the deal is a win-win for both communities.
“It will extend the purple pipe network,” Kraenzel said. “We’ll be much closer to Westside Park and the city cemetery to get those irrigated.”
Both communities plan on to apply for an LCRA grant to help fund the project.
Marble Falls officials said they will complete a current project extending purple pipe from the wastewater plant in Johnson Park, 230 Ave. J South, to the Greens soccer fields, 1100 Sixth St., prior to launching the Meadowlakes contract.
The in-city extension project is expected to be completed by summer or fall of 2017.