City faces over-watering fine
Administrator says city didn’t mean to go over irrigation limit while watering soccer fields.
SAN MARCOS — The city of Wimberley is facing a nearly $2,000 fine after exceeding a permit it secured this year to irrigate two new soccer fields at Blue Hole Regional Park by about 281,000 gallons in two months.
The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District approved in April a permit for 6 acre feet per year to water the fields, or about 1,955,100 gallons, said Rick Broun, the district’s general manager. An acre-foot of water is roughly equal to the amount three average Austin households use a year.
“It’s not a common occurrence,” Broun said. “I’ve never seen a permit holder produce their entire permit in two months.”
Don Ferguson, Wimberley’s city administrator, said that the use of about 14 percent more water than the city was permitted for was unintentional, and that the city notified the district when they realized what had happened.
Eventually, Ferguson said, the city hopes to use highlytreated wastewater to irrigate lawns and fields at the park in lieu of potable water and groundwater.
The city stopped using the well water in October as the weather became wetter, he said.
The city pumped 946,600 gallons in July, 1,253,000 gallons in August and 36,900 gallons in September, Ferguson said.
He said the city hasn’t received any complaints