Fifty three years ago in 1964 five local residents joined together to form the Bartonville Water Supply Corporation. These were local farmers, ranchers and interested residents. Ray Robertson, R.H. Burgess, Marvin Ellis, A.M. Alley and W.J Brown incorporated the water supply corporation under Texas law for the purposes of “furnishing a water supply for general farm use and domestic purposes to individuals residing in the rural community of Bartonville, Texas, and the surrounding rural areas.” Reflecting its original size, the corporation agreed to keep a reserve fund of $2,500 for emergency repairs, obsolescence of equipment and for making up any deficiencies in revenue for loan payments.
A lot has changed in the last 53 years. From 139 members in 1965 we have grown to a current commitment to serve over 2,700 members. We have remained a member owned Non-Profit Corporation with every member owning a share of the Corporation. Under our designation as a retail public utility, the Water Supply Corporation is exempt from property taxes, Federal Income Taxes and Texas Franchise Taxes. Our annual budget now runs $3 million per year. Our highest expense is for water which costs over $1.2 million per year for ground water from Upper Trinity Regional Water authority. Our electric bill to pump water from our wells and boost it to the elevated tank is over $200,000 per year. We also pay fees required by the North Texas Groundwater Conservation District for water pumped from our well.
The Corporation is managed by the Board of Directors who are elected from the members. There are 2 or 3 Board positions up for election each year. The Board members are elected by the general membership at the Annual Membership Meeting every April. Board members receive no remuneration for their service, no discounts on water nor other special consideration.
The original infrastructure utilized pumps and pressure vessels to provide pressure to customers. Not everyone received adequate pressure and those at higher elevations often had to consider second floor showers as the “shower of last resort.” The building of the elevated water tower in Double Oak in 1996 remedied that situation with adequate pressure throughout the Bartonville Water Supply Corp territory. That territory is defined by our CCN (Certificate of Convenience and Necessity) which was assigned by the Texas Public Utilities Commission in 1979. Under that CCN we were assigned an exclusive territory in which we are obligated to serve all customers who request water service. As a Water Supply Corporation we operate under the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Rules and Regulations for Public Water Systems and must ensure a safe and adequate supply of water to our members for domestic use. While the Water Supply Corporation is required to furnish water for domestic use, we are not charged with the responsibility to supply water for fire hydrants. Planning for the future, we began requiring fire hydrant type flush valves in new developments as early as 1986. In 2009 the Corporation Board of Directors committed to supply water for fire hydrants as supplies allow and authorized construction of a 750,000 gallon elevated water tank to fill that need. Although construction of the tank has been delayed by legal actions, the Corporation intends to fulfill its promise to supply water for firefighting as soon as possible.
From our humble beginnings we have grown to have more than 90 miles of underground pipelines, 7 deep wells, 9 high pressure booster pumps, 5 sanitation facilities, 4 million gallons of ground tank water storage, the aforementioned 500,000 gallon elevated water storage tank and a contract with the Upper Trinity Regional Water Authority for additional ground water. In 2013 we changed our name from Bartonville Water Supply Corporation to Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation to better identify our scope. Our service area includes not only Bartonville, but Double Oak, Copper Canyon, unincorporated areas of Denton County as well as portions of Highland Village and Flower Mound.
While our service area has not changed since being authorized by Public Utilities Commission, the communities we serve have undergone tremendous change and growth. What was originally rural has transformed into a more suburban area with higher density housing, commercial businesses and water demands many times those originally contemplated. The original members used a few thousand gallons of water per month while our current average customer uses 14,000 gallons per month. That varies from an average of 7,000 gallons per month during the winter months and up to an average of 38,000 gallons per month during the hot summer. While the original users depended on the Corporation for domestic drinking water, our current customers use more for landscaping than for drinking. During the summer months we supply between 2.75 and 3.75 million gallons of water to our customers per day. Our peak usage in a single day was 4.2 million gallons.
The Water Supply Corp began planning for this growth decades ago. We have secured a reliable and clean supply of water through a combination of wells and surface water contracts that ensure adequate water even in drought years. We have a steady supply of water to support continued growth in our service area for decades to come. We have an ongoing capital expansion and improvement plan to accommodate growth and infrastructure improvements. Our employees are licensed by the State of Texas and undergo continuing education in the latest technology and methodology for modern water systems. We will talk more about our technology, how a water system is designed, how we determine the needs of our communities and other issues in future columns.
With so much uncertainty in our world, you can depend on an adequate and clean supply of drinking water every time you turn on the tap. One less thing to worry about.
Contact the Cross Timbers Water Supply Corporation at 940-584-0780 or www.crosstimberswater.com