City faces over-wa­ter­ing fine

Ad­min­is­tra­tor says city didn’t mean to go over ir­ri­ga­tion limit while wa­ter­ing soc­cer fields.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Ciara O’rourke corourke@states­man.com Water B

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

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