1,000-plus water violation warnings issued as pipe repair work steps up

Repair work on the raw water intake that feeds the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority started Wednesday. 

Progress was made Thursday to the point that officials hope the repair project may be completed a little ahead of schedule. However, residents in Cedar Park and Leander are still being warned not to violate the new water conservation rules.

The repair work is happening in Sandy Creek Cove, part of Lake Travis and located between Cedar Park and Jonestown. A work barge can be seen anchored above the water intake pipe. 

Thursday afternoon a dive crew member went down to the intake about 50 feet below the surface and underwater video provided to FOX 7 Austin shows the crew working in the murky water. The problem with the pipe is described as a loose connection, not a crack. 


Utility Authority General Manager Karen Bondy spoke about the work and the flaw that apparently dates back to the pipe's installation 10 years ago.

"They can't, couldn't see their hand in front of their face. It's dark. So they have to rely on a whole team that's on the barge above them. Who is, they're operating a crane that actually has is holding the pipe up that they're working on. So, it's an incredible teamwork effort for these guys who wouldn't be able to see anything if not for the lights on their helmets," said Bondy.

The Utility Authority is also looking into having the original contractor provide some reimbursement for the cost of making the repair. "We are definitely discussing that," said Bondy.

They are not just replacing the bad connection, they are also upgrading 1,500 feet of pipe. The project is scheduled to go into early October, but Bondy said there is a chance they could wrap up before the end of the month.

As work continues on the lake, neighbors are turning in neighbors and reporting water restrictions violations. Since Sept 9., officials in Cedar Park tell FOX 7 Austin they have received 322 complaints and issued 359 warnings. 

In Leander there have been 954 warnings. A second offense in Leander can result in a fine of up to a thousand dollars.