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Horseshoe Bay residents must test irrigation backflow preventers or face fine

Backflow preventer

Horseshoe Bay residents need to have their irrigation system backflow preventers tested by May 1 or they could receive a citation. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Horseshoe Bay residents who have not had their irrigation system backflow preventers tested have until May 1 to do so or face a fine of up to $500 per day.

The devices, which are required by state and federal laws, help keep water from flowing back into the city’s water system.

During the City Council’s special meeting Tuesday, April 6, Horseshoe Bay Water Conservation Inspector Bill Teeter gave a presentation on the importance of backflow preventers working properly to make sure animal waste, dead insects, and decaying plant matter don’t find their way into the city’s water system and contaminate it.

The city sent letters to residents several months ago asking them to have their backflow preventers tested. 

Those whose irrigation systems are not on the city’s water system do not have to comply.

Horseshoe Bay Utilities Director Jeff Koska said about 83 percent of the residents have already had their backflow preventers tested. Of the remaining 17 percent, about 6 percent might have irrigation systems without a backflow preventer, which violates state and federal laws, he added.

It costs about $100 for a backflow preventer test and about $400 to have one installed. However, that’s much less than a possible $500 a day fine. 

Koska said the city will begin issuing citations May 1 to those who haven’t complied.

“If one person hasn’t complied, it’s a very big deal,” Mayor Cynthia Clinesmith said. “We spend time and money to keep our water clean. We want to emphasize we want you to put the water backflow preventers on there.”

The city has a listing of professionals who residents can contact for testing or installation.

Those with questions may contact City Hall at 830-598-8741 and ask for Teeter.