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Bartonville Lawsuit

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At the July 30, 2013 council meeting, and in the recent town newsletter, Mayor Robertson presented the status of the lawsuit between the Town of Bartonville and Bartonville Water Supply Corporation (BWSC), which has now become Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation.

This corporation is not a part of the Town of Bartonville. Only a few Bartonville residents are not serviced by BWSC. BWSC is a non-profit organization with a Board of Directors elected by its members. The mission of BWSC is to provide a safe and ample supply of water to its members. The Board members receive no compensation and serve at large. BWSC serves Bartonville, Double Oak, Copper Canyon and portions of unincorporated Denton County and a small area of Flower Mound. The statistical information was provided by BWSC.

The BWSC Board voted to construct an elevated water tank at the location in question. Their interpretation of State law was that they did not need permission from Bartonville to erect the water tower, and they proceeded to build it until the Town stopped them. The tower is approximately 80% complete and is located on the hill behind the Bartonville Town Center. The primary reason for placing it there is the elevation and proximity to the 54” Upper Trinity Regional Water District’s water line. BWSC has a contract with Upper Trinity and purchases water in addition to water supplied by BWSC wells. Regardless of the source, all of the water must pass through the elevated tank. The elevated tank is what provides the pressure to push water to our homes. BWSC wants a second elevated tank to provide a greater supply of water for heavy use periods and for safety reasons. An additional tank needs to be at the same elevation as the current tank so that both tanks can be used in the water system. The tank cannot be filled and drained at the same time, so high-pressure pumps are used when filling the tank. The tank periodically has to be taken off-line to be serviced and cleaned. We have to depend temporarily on the high-pressure pump system when this occurs as there is no other tower for backup.

The current single elevated tank does not have sufficient capacity for emergencies during peak use periods, primarily June through September. While BWSC has an ample supply of water, all of the water must go through an elevated tank for pressure (provided by gravity). The current tank has a maximum capacity of 500,000 gallons. The peak usage day in July 2013 was between 2.7 and 2.8 million gallons. The highest historical peak days have been over 4 million gallons. The current tank is being filled and drained constantly throughout the day. With the current drought expected to continue for up to ten more years, and an expanding population, peak days may be even higher. BWSC has had more new customers (new meters) during the first seven months of 2013 than it has had in any full year since 2007. These conditions could result in inadequate water supplies to serve an emergency that occurred during the peak usage months.

Although BWSC is specifically exempted from the requirement to supply water for fire fighting, it has chosen to provide this service to its members for public safety reasons. BWSC meets the current minimum standards for water supplies as issued by the State of Texas. However, these standards do not include any water for fire fighting. For the BWSC membership, this usage would be approximately 1,864,000 gallons per day. As noted above, July actual peak day usage was over 2.7 million gallons. The state minimum standards are set to encourage the low cost development of water infrastructure for an expanding population. Our area is not a minimum user of water and should not be subject to artificial restrictions.

A wrong decision in this lawsuit could adversely affect your future quality of life. Our objective is to inform, not take sides.

Del Knowler
Citizens United for a Rural Environment
Bartonville, TX

 

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