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Groundwater district cancels hearing on Channel Oaks Water System

Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District

The Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors chose to cancel a show cause hearing scheduled for May 16 centered on the leaky condition of the Channel Oaks Water System. The cancellation was due to repairs made prior to the hearing date. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Central Texas Groundwater Conservation District canceled a show cause hearing scheduled for Tuesday, May 16, concerning groundwater waste in the Channel Oaks Water System, which serves the Channel Oaks subdivision southwest of Marble Falls on FM 2147. The district wanted explanations for several major leaks in the system, but those issues were repaired prior to the hearing date, satisfying the district’s core concerns.

During the Board of Directors regular meeting May 16, district general manager Mitchell Sodek reported that all of the concerning leaks in the Channel Oaks Water System had been fixed. He also mentioned a change in system management and recommended the board hold off on a show cause hearing, seeing that the major leaks had been fixed.

“I think, so far, it’s a good outcome,” Sodek told the board. “We just needed compliance. I think we’re receiving that, and, hopefully, it continues.”

Sodek had originally recommended the show cause hearing during an April 27 meeting of the board. He shared reports of major leakage in the water system, which draws upon groundwater, putting it in the wheelhouse of the Groundwater Conservation District. These leaks violate the district’s rules and could have resulted in up to $500 in fines per day for the owners of the water system.

The Channel Oaks Water System has been under fire for more than leaks in recent months. The Public Utility Commission of Texas has been battling with the system’s owners and making mandates on operations. Also, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had the Channel Oaks subdivision on a boil water notice for months.

Sodek and the Board of Directors noted that they would continue to watch the water system and be ready to take action if leaks occur in the future.

“My main concern was seeing the leaks fixed,” Sodek told DailyTrib.com. “They are definitely on our radar. We will continue to monitor them.”

CORRECTION: A May 16 story published by DailyTrib.com, since unpublished, stated that the Channel Oaks Water System was under new ownership. The water system’s ownership is still in contention, but Mary Maxey, who has been in charge of the system, complied with an order from the Public Utilities Commission to designate an authority signatory. She designated herself on May 11. She also named Pauline Jones as responsible for billing, Keith Jones as responsible for operations, and Aaron Johnson as responsible for testing and compliance. DailyTrib.com regrets the error.

dakota@thepicayune.com