STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — Meadowlakes and Marble Falls teamed up to land a grant that will help both municipalities address effluent water needs, but from different angles.
The Lower Colorado River Authority has awarded the cities a joint $58,000 grant to install 3,600 feet of piping for effluent water to be used for golf course irrigation.
The new piping will extend from Johnson Street in Marble Falls before eventually connecting with the golf course’s irrigation system.
The project will begin in the fall, said city of Marble Falls engineer Eric Belaj.
“I’m very proud of our City Council and the city of Marble Falls (employees) as an entity,” he said. “We are proving we are very forward-thinking compared to a lot of other cities in Texas.”
City of Marble Falls water and wastewater department staff will handle the majority of the work, Belaj said.
The city of Meadowlakes benefits from the project. It will now pay Marble Falls for the effluent water to irrigate portions of Hidden Falls Golf Course, which is owned by the city of Meadowlakes. By using the effluent, Meadowlakes will reduce its reliance on water from the Highland Lakes, for which it pays the LCRA, to irrigate the golf course.
On the Marble Falls side, the city gets another place to dispense its effluent water.
“We are running out of land to irrigate,” he said. “We’re not allowed to dump it into creeks and lakes because of the watershed ordinance of the LCRA.”
City officials estimate there is an average of 16.3 million gallons of effluent water that need to be discharged annually.
Belaj said this project wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been an investment into the city of Marble Falls wastewater treatment plant a decade ago.
“This water is a lot cleaner than regular lake water,” he said. “You can play golf in it, you just can’t use it as potable.”
The two cities entered into a 10-year agreement, which they can re-evaluate at the end of that term.