Faqs

General FAQ

What is current outdoor watering schedule?

How do I locate my water shutoff valve in an emergency?

Learn where you can find the water shutoff valve in case of an emergency.

Where does my responsibility begin for operation and maintenance of the water line and wastewater line for my home?

Learn about your responsibility for the maintenance of the water line and wastewater line for your home.

Whom do I call if I have a water leak or sewer problems?

During working hours, call Water District No. 17 office at 512-266-1111 Ext 110. After hours, call the emergency phone number; 512-537-8302. If the leak appears to be on your property call a plumber.  If the leak appears to be near the street call the District. The District will investigate the issue and repair it if it is on the District’s equipment.

 

 

When are board meetings held?

The Board of Directors meets every month on the third Thursday at 6:00 pm at the WCID No. 17 office at 3812 Eck Lane. There is always a posting for public comment at 6:30 pm, and everyone is welcome. The agenda is posted each month in a public bulletin case next to the front door of the WCID No. 17 office, and on our website (www.wcid17.org) tabbed: About Us / Board Meetings.

Is there any adjustment (credit) given if I have a leak?

If you have abnormally high usage as a result of a water leak, you may apply for an Unintentional Water Loss Adjustment once per calendar year. You will need to submit your request in writing, providing the date when you think the leak may have started, the cause of the leak, and the date the leak was repaired. You will also need to attach a copy of the repair receipts for materials used to repair the leak. You may mail this request in, drop it off at the WCID No. 17 office at 3812 Eck Lane, fax it to (512) 266-2790, or email it to Payments.billing@wcid17.org (South of Mansfield Dam), cbrady@wcid17.org (North of Mansfield Dam), ewall@wcid17.org (Apache Shores and River Ridge).  This type of adjustment can take up to a month for processing.

How do I pay my bill?

Payment Options:  Mail, Lockbox, Phone, Credit Card, Automatic Bank Draft (Remember to allow time for the processing you choose) Payment may be mailed to 3812 Eck Lane, Austin, TX 78734; dropped-off in the lockbox located in the driveway of the WCID No. 17 office, made in person at the WCID No. 17 office; over the phone by credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Discover); or by FREE automatic withdrawal from your checking or savings account. To have your monthly bill deducted from your checking or savings account, please use the green “Pay Online” button on the bottom of the Home page to set recurring payments up and remember to complete all screens to “turn on” recurring payments. Pay the current amount due and autopay will begin the following month. There is no additional charge for this monthly service and it may be cancelled at any time.

What is a WCID?

A Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, and is empowered to purchase, construct, operate, and maintain everything necessary to provide water, wastewater and drainage services. Like school districts and fire districts, a WCID can collect taxes, charge service fees, operate facilities, own land, condemn property, and pass ordinances. A five (5) member Board of Directors is elected by the residents to serve four (4) year staggered terms. Elections are now held on the November Uniform Election Date in even-numbered years. WCID No. 17 is a non-profit public utility regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), now under the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Water Conservation FAQ

What is water waste?

Water waste is defined as:

  1. Failing to repair a controllable leak including sprinkler heads, valves , pipes, or faucets.
  2. Allowing irrigation water to run off into the street for a distance of 50 feet or more, or allowing it to pond in the street or parking lot to a depth greater than 1/4 inch.

Where can I get more information on how to make my yard water smart?

Ok, but how do I know how long to run my sprinklers?

Your irrigation professional can tell you, or you can easily figure it out yourself. Set out several empty tuna cans on your lawn about eight to ten feet from the sprinkler. Turn on the sprinkler and mark the time. Measure the amount of time it takes to accumulate about one inch (use the average of the depth in the cans). Longer watering is only wasting water and costing you money.

But following the watering schedule doesn’t seem like enough. Won’t my grass die?

Most landscape plants get more water than they need. You can keep landscaping alive even during the worst summer heat by following these tips:

  • Start early in the year! (Late March is best) to condition your lawn to the watering schedule. (From October to March, you probably will not have to water at all.) Water deeply 1 to 1.5 inches. This practice will encourage deep root systems and make for healthier, drought tolerant grass.
  • Use native plants that do well on little water.
  • Try not to plant or install new sod in the summer months. New grass, plants and shrubs require frequent watering for quite a while. Many new plants will die in the Texas summer heat even with constant watering. Give your plants time to get established before facing the summer heat.
  • Mulch around plants to hold in water and discourage weeds.
  • Install efficient irrigation systems. Avoid sprinklers with fine sprays. Don’t water during the heat of the day (10AM to 7PM) when 60% of the water will be lost to evaporation. Install a moisture sensor system so that you will not be watering when it is raining.
  • Use Drip irrigation for bedded plants, trees, and shrubs.
  • Adjust automatic sprinkler systems so they water the landscaping and not sidewalks, driveways and pavement.
  • Don’t water on windy days.
  • Water only enough to restore water lost to evapotranspiration (ET). If it rains during the week, subtract the rainfall from your required watering amount.

Ok, I’m convinced! What can I do to help conserve water in the hot dry weather?

Without a doubt, the most important thing you can do is to carefully follow your utility’s watering schedule, and be efficient with your water use outside. If you hire a landscaper or irrigator to set your watering schedules, be clear about your expectations. Some companies over water automatically to avoid complaints. Discuss over watering, routinely fixing broken heads and leaks, and not over spraying. Participate in rebate programs provided by Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) using water smart irrigation systems.  LCRA is WCID No. 17’s water provider and as customers you can reap the same rebates offered to all LCRA customers.

Be aware of how much water you are using. Look at your water bill, and in the summer, keep your usage under 35,000 gallons for a 5/8″ meter and 45,000 gallons per month for a ¾” meter.

Why can’t the district produce enough so I can use all the water I want? If I can afford It, why can’t I buy It?

The majority of Texas water systems, including WCID No. 17, produce more than enough drinking water year-round. Even though the District is experiencing a period of explosive growth, we are constantly constructing new facilities to ensure all present and future customers have an adequate water supply. It is only during excessively hot and dry periods that demand may occasionally outpace supply as when everyone tries to water their lawns every day at the same time. If the lake level drops, the pumps have to work a lot harder to get water up to the plant, and they pump less. Electric companies often experience the same problem in the summer, and power “brownouts” are common. Anytime the temperature reaches 100 degrees (very common in central Texas) for several days, evaporation rates rise sharply, and vegetation loses much more water. Utility systems (and their customers) would incur huge costs to expand facilities to allow unlimited usage for only a short time during the summer.

Adequate supply does not mean unlimited use. The water treatment plant is designed for a maximum peak day production of 1 gallon per minute per living unit equivalent (single family home) or about 35,000 gallons per month for a 5/8 inch meter in a hot summer month. This is 30 percent greater capacity than the state requires.

Lake Travis looks full, doesn’t that mean we have plenty of water and don’t need to conserve?

No, because all of that water doesn’t belong to us. What many people don’t realize is that essentially all of the water we see in lakes is already appropriated to river authorities, municipalities, and farm irrigation. The State appropriates water to applicants through a system of water rights. The applicants are responsible for making productive use of the water; otherwise the State can re-appropriate the water to other users through a process called adjudication. While all water carried in rivers and lakes is appropriated, all appropriated water is not sold. The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) which holds the rights to much of the water stored in Lake Travis is attempting to sell it to entities in the Brazos, Guadalupe and San Antonio River basins.

The water in Lake Travis is believed by many to be over appropriated. In a year of average rainfall, all water carried by rivers is fully committed for use. It is the storage volume of reservoirs that permits us to have water in years with less than average rainfall. When the state experiences another prolonged drought such as the one which occurred during the 1950s, there will not be enough water available to support all current uses.

Plumbing Permits FAQ

Why plumbing permits?

Travis County WCID No. 17 is responsible by law to the state regulatory agency, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), for protecting the drinking water supply from contamination or pollution that could result from improper plumbing practices. All plumbing within the boundaries of WCID No. 17 must be installed in accordance with the Uniform Plumbing Code, 2015 Edition, or within the City of Lakeway, the 2015 International Residential Code, with District amendments. Plumbing permits may be obtained at the WCID No. 17 offices at 3812 Eck Lane.

Who may apply for a permit?

The following people may apply for plumbing permits:

  • Homeowners/Business owner/Property owner
  • Certified Pool or Irrigation Specialists
  • Licensed Master Plumber

If a permit is obtained under a master plumbers license, that master plumber must supervise the work and will be held responsible for the quality of the work.

When is a plumbing permit required?

Permits are required prior to the start of construction from the following types of projects:

  1. Building a new home for yourself or prospective buyer.
  2. Building a commercial business or building.
  3. Installing a new yardline to an existing house, trailer, prefabricated house or structure formerly using a well or cistern.
  4. Installation or replacement of water heaters or water softeners.
  5. Installing a sprinkler/irrigation system.
  6. Installing a swimming pool, gas spa or auto-fill equipment.
  7. Adding on a bathroom, kitchen or room(s) requiring additional plumbing.
  8. Remodeling an existing house, room(s), or commercial building, if it necessitates changing the existing plumbing.

Persons plumbing without a permit or illegally connecting to the water system may be subject to fines.

How long is a permit valid?

Permits for residential homes are valid for a period of one (1) year; irrigation permits are valid for three (3) months; and pool permits are valid for six (6) months. Commercial permits are valid for a period of two (2) years. If the permit expires before the work is completed, a permit may be extended for an additional fee. After two (2) years for a residential permit, or three (3) years for a commercial permit, that expires without the work being completed, any unused inspection fees will be forfeited and the permitting process must start over.

When can a new service be hooked up?

If a tap is already done, a service can be established within one to three (1-3) days. If a tap is required, it may take two to four (2-4) weeks to get service. If a tap with a road cut is required, it can take four to six (4-6) weeks because permits must first be obtained by the WCID No. 17 from Travis County for the road cut. If a meter has already been set and you are transferring service, new service can usually be transferred within 24 hours.

What is a red tag?

A red tag is an indication of a failed inspection or improper plumbing practices discovered by WCID No. 17 personnel. The problem must be corrected within 10 days and re-inspected. All further plumbing work must be stopped on the project until the inspection is passed. Red tags may be issued by your plumbing inspector or by WCID No. 17. Failure to correct red tagged plumbing could result in termination of water service. A green tag indicates that the inspection was passed by the inspector.

Who may do the work?

A homestead permit may be issued to a person who is not licensed to perform plumbing work provided the residence is the person’s homestead and principal residence. For commercial work, a master plumber is required. If a homestead permit is issued and the homeowner performing the work fails multiple inspections, the District may require the homeowner to hire a competent plumbing contractor to complete the work.

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