Woodway is making progress on repairing three wells that had problems this summer, with two fixed as of this week and repairs continuing on a third.
Work wrapped up this week on the Bosque well, which suffered from electrical failure of its motor in mid-August. That problem was discovered as Woodway was already at work on repairing the Tater Hill and Acorn Drive wells, and as city water customers were already under a call for a voluntary 50% reduction in water use.
Crews with Jurgensen Pump LLC in Valley Mills have since fixed the Tater Hill well, and the Woodway City Council on Monday approved an $86,000 payment for the repair. Work is continuing on the Acorn Drive well.
Mitch Davison, director of community services, said workers discovered the Bosque well motor failure when they pulled it out along with a pump.
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“We took the motor that we had bought for the Acorn well and installed it in the Bosque well, because that one has a larger storage tank,” Davison said.
“When we pulled the pump and motor out of the ground for the Acorn well, we found both the pump and motor had twisted off the well case,” Davison said. “A new pump and motor are (now) both waiting on assembly at repair shop.”
Woodway has lifted the call for a 50% reduction in water use.
“We’re still in Phase 2 drought restrictions, though the request for 50% voluntary reduction in outdoor water use has been lifted,” Davison said. “Phase 2 restrictions limit residents to watering their yards three days a week in the evenings or early mornings.”
The Bosque well required several bacteriological samples to pass Texas Commission on Environmental Quality standards, Davison said. It takes three passing samples in a row to restore TCEQ certification after work is done on a well, and any failing sample restarts the process. After a failing sample, the city had to purge the water from the well and let it overflow into the street.
Now that the Bosque well is back, no more water should be flowing in the street, City Manager Shawn Oubre said at Monday’s city council meeting.
Davison estimated that repairs to the Bosque well would cost slightly less than those for Tater Hill, while the Acorn Drive well repair would cost in the neighborhood of $130,000.
Oubre said the city is filing a claim with its insurer over some of the pump problems, and he expects to recover some of the expense.
In other business Monday, the Woodway City Council voted down a proposal to require a homeowners association in the Starlight Estates subdivision that is planned at the end of Poage Drive. The city’s planning and zoning commission in March approved an escarpment plan for Starlight Estates because it rests on a geological formation that is considered prone to instability.
Council Member David Keyston proposed requiring an HOA as a future mechanism to own the streets as well as water and sewer lines for an extended period of time. The Texas Municipal Code only allows HOAs for subdivisions with common areas such as parks, trails or pools.
The council voted 4-3 against Keyston’s proposal, with Amine Qourzal, John Williams, Storey Cook and Janell Gilman in the majority and Keyston, David Russell and Gayle Avant dissenting.
Keyston and frequent council ally Russell said they are concerned that the soils in the escarpment zone may shift, as happened in a now-abandoned development across Lake Shore Drive from Koehne Park in Waco. Keyston said the streets could buckle in Starlight Estates in the future and the development could experience problems with water, sewer and foundations.