February 26, 2021
This recent weather event was extremely challenging for so many of you as well as our utility and we are thankful that most everyone is doing much better this week. Most of the feedback that we have received concerning the continued water service we were able to provide has been very gracious and kind and we sincerely appreciate it!
If you experienced busted or leaking water pipes, please reach out to the MUD’s General Manager at email@example.com and account credits will be assessed. Additionally, since we know that most were dripping faucets to prevent frozen pipes and this use could have a negative effect on sewer averaging for the coming year, we will be dropping the February usage and simply use two months for the averaging period. As always, we do not want anyone negatively impacted due to broken pipes or water loss due to prevention measures or leaks. Trash and Recycle service is returning to normal and recycle pickup will begin on Monday, March 1st for those in Area “A.”
While most of our communications from residents have been appreciative, unfortunately a couple of communications have not been as generous. We feel it is important to share some information with you as you are the taxpayers and should know of the efforts on your behalf.
1. Our Board of Directors consists of 5 individuals that live in the district; your neighbors. They, too, were impacted by this storm. Please know that every effort was made to keep our water system fully operational but no one has knowledge of others’ personal circumstances or situations. IE: who was without power, who may have had busted pipes, downed trees, family or neighbors in need.
2. Our district has only 6 full-time employees. Only one employee lives in the district, the rest live in other areas. Three employees are in operations. One of them had no power but still came to work to make sure that our district did not lose water (without power, many tasks had to be handled manually) as well as responding to emergency phone calls. One could not get home due to the roads and having no power or water. He stayed in Round Rock to make sure he was available for our operations. The third also continued to come to work even though he had to heat his and his mother’s home with a portable heater and propane tanks. All of our operations staff as well as our GM responded to emergency calls, 24/7 in frigid temperatures, to help our residents shut-off water when pipes burst. Our staff also willingly helped remove downed limbs from streets and driveways (not our streets or driveways and not our trees) because that is what good and committed people do.
3. Our administrative staff, two of whom do not live in our district, had no water, no electricity and could not get out of their homes. As of yesterday, Feb. 24th, two of them still have no water and/or hot water but they are at work. Yet, for the entire week, they charged their work cell phones in their cars so that they could continue receiving emergency phone calls.
4. Our district did send out emergency notifications to our district’s email list as well as posting to our website. Exception was taken to one post saying to report “using a 4-wheeler on MUD property”. This was included with one of the emergency emails as reports were coming in that an ATV was being driven on snowy slopes where children were playing. As for social media, we believe accurate information sent out through emails, mobile app and on our website is the best form of communication.
Our first responsibility, as we are a Municipal Utility District, is to provide safe and adequate water to our residents and we take that very seriously. We planned and enacted a very extensive winterization program yet the loss of power did affect us. Our staff did an incredible job in very unsafe and trying situations and they do this because they are dedicated employees. Neighboring utilities had many issues with lack of water, boil water notices and lack of pressure. Some were within hours of a complete loss of water. We give great kudos to the City of Round Rock, our wholesale provider, as they worked night and day to keep water flowing to its customers with fewer pumps and lack of power. Please view this story from the city’s website:
We, too, did everything possible and no one in our district lost water service nor were any boil water notices required. We, too, saw the incredible service our residents were providing to one another.
As always, we believe we live in the best neighborhood and we appreciate you! Looking forward to a better year for everyone!