Friday, January 28, 2011

Aqua official signals start of leak repairs in Woodcreek and Woodcreek North

A big question that has many of Aqua's ratepayers nervous is whether the repair costs will be passed on in the form of increased rates

Send your comments and news tips to, to the groundwater district at, to HTGCD Board President Jimmy Skipton at, board vice president David Baker at, board member Joan Jernigan at, or click on the "comments" button at the bottom of the story. Click here to go to the district's website.

By Bob Ochoa


An Aqua Texas official has informed the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District that the water company is moving forward with plans to repair leaks in its system in Woodcreek and Woodcreek North.

Click on letter to enlarge
The repair and replacement of "certain water lines" will be a "monumental task," Aqua Texas, Inc., Central Texas Area Manager Brent C. Reeh states in a letter to the District's board president, Jimmy Skipton. The District received the letter Jan. 18. The RoundUp obtained a copy of the letter through a public information request.

Reeh said Aqua will need to complete several regulatory steps "before we are able to actually start turning dirt and replacing water lines." The review process by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of Aqua's repair plans will take between 90 and 120 days, Reeh said. In the meantime, Aqua will solicit bids from contractors for the project.

Reeh's letter does not specify the extent or cost of the initial repairs. Aqua officials have previously estimated a price tag of $5 million to repair the entire system. A big question that has many of Aqua's ratepayers nervous is whether the repair costs will be passed on in the form of increased rates.

Aqua's willingness to begin repairs on its notoriously leaky Woodcreek water system "is a good thing for the aquifer," Mr. Skipton told the RoundUp. "Aqua Texas is showing, at this point, good faith. They have taken it upon themselves to fix the problem after going to the (District's) meetings and hearing the concerns brought up by a lot of people who thought Aqua should start doing something to fix the problems."

For well over a year, Aqua and the District's board have been unable to reach a comprehensive agreement to remedy extensive groundwater waste, or line loss, in Aqua's water system, which serves more than 2,000 customers in the City of Woodcreek and unincorporated Woodcreek North.

"The task of coming to an agreement has been challenging, to say the least," Reeh states in his letter. "We will continue to work with you and the District in trying to work on a comprehensive agreement to address our respective concerns."

Under its current permits with the District, Aqua is allowed to pump 321 acre-feet of water annually for its Woodcreek Phase I service area and 339 acre-feet for Woodcreek Phase II (approximately 215 million gallons combined). By its own reporting to the District of groundwater pumpage, use and line loss, Aqua's system is hemorrhaging something on the order of 57 million gallons annually. Line loss is reported to be about 20% in Woodcreek Phase I and 35% in the Phase II service area.

The District's Rule 9, which addresses groundwater waste and penalties, sets the allowable line loss at 15%, the standard for municipal water systems. Aqua has threatened legal action against the District if it sought to enforce the water waste rule.

Several long running attempts to negotiate a settlement on the line loss problem have failed. One such attempt which proved to be extremely unpopular with the public was to grant Aqua a 3-year permit with built in pumping increases in exchange for a promise from Aqua to repair its system's leaks.

Meanwhile, the RoundUp is informed that the City of Woodcreek is preparing a survey that it will send to residents of both Woodcreek and Woodcreek North in February. A city source said the survey is being done to "gauge the sentiment of Aqua's customers." The results will be tabulated in March.

Late last year, the Woodcreek Property Owners Association collected more than 650 individually signed petitions protesting Aqua's high rates.
An informed source said the petition essentially says "enough is enough, we can't afford to live here with these kind of water rates – please do something." The petition requests an investigation into Aqua Texas water and sewer service rates.

Copies of the petitions were hand delivered to then State Rep. Patrick Rose and candidate Jason Isaac, who defeated Rose in the November election. Other officials said to have received, or will receive, the petitions include new County Judge Bert Cobb, County Commissioner Will Conley, State Sen. Jeff Wentworth and former County Commissioner Jeff Barton.

So far, the source said, "We haven't heard a word back from anyone, nothing from Isaac."

Commissioner Conley and Judge Cobb reportedly will meet soon to discuss the petition.

Part of the petition text states: "For years we have been subjected to the excessive rates and fees of Aqua Texas. We cannot afford these outrageous rates and fees and we request you investigate this company and do all that you can to reduce these rates and fees as soon as possible. Those of us who own vacant lots or have our homes on the market are being adversely affected as well. Basic human needs such as water and sewer should never be a luxury item!"

We'll have more on this as updates become available.


Richard Sullivan said...

This is just Great! Now the David Baker and Company the WVWA and Jim McMeans and his band of water worshippers will be happy to have the leaks fixed since they think it will lessen the risk to their wells and their Holy Grail, Jacob’s Well. The residents in The City of Woodcreek and Woodcreek North will be pissed since they will be saddled with the estimated $5 million cost of the repairs. The water and Sewer bills in the two Woodcreeks are already way too high $150+ and now they will be totally unaffordable if this goes through. To be clear, the TCEQ will let Aqua Texas pass all of the costs on to their ratepayers as they have always done.

The water worshipers are not going to be pleased either when they find out that Aqua Texas intends to keep and sell the water they save from the repairs. In other words there will be no decrease in pumping it may actually increase. This way they don’t need a three year permit or increase in pumping. No relief for the Trinity Aquifer at all. There is no good news here, Aqua Texas is the only winner everyone else loses!!

Anonymous said...

Bob: Great informative article. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Regarding TCEQ granting future rate increases: Write your elected officials and make sure you cc the TCEQ. We need the current rates reduced. And we certainly cannot afford another rate increase.

Water Worshipper said...

Mr. Sullivan,

You use the term "water worshipper" in a sarcastic and
derogatory way. That'unfortunate. Any person who drinks water is a "water worshipper" -- if he wants to keep on drinking it!

Barbara Hopson said...

Even if Aqua Texas gets to keep
pumping the same amount they
presently pump, at least there
won't be so much waste if Aqua
does indeed fix the leaks.

As for their passing the cost
of repairs on to us, that's
probably what the TCEQ will let

We need to bring to the attention
of the Austin American-Statesman
the story of the sky-high water
and sewer rates we pay to Aqua.
A subdivision in Austin (Kennedy Ridge)was being charged exorbitant
fees by their water supplier (not
Aqua Texas), and the Attorney General has now freezed the
assets of that company.(See front-
page story in Statesman from Jan. 19, "Charges in water dispute" at

Address emails to and copy to Patrick
George is the Austin reporter who
writes many articles about Hays

Anonymous said...

Anyone see a contribution from Aqua on Isaacs latest financial statement?

Anonymous said...

You know where all that "lost water" goes don't you?

Back into the aquifer. Baker, the WVWA, and other thieves need to get the county to buy all the land. Then, they can dance naked in the moonlight hand-in-hand. The only problem for davey boy.....who will pay his bills when there is no controversy.

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmm! Seems to me that Mr. Skipton, who doesn't live in nor owns property in Woodcreek, is pretty cozy with Aqua Texas. There's ever so much more to this story as first comments have alluded to while I don't agree with his snarkey references to "water worshippers"...we ALL are water worshippers in one way or another.

Anonymous said...

I notice that no comments are being posted regarding the very definite collusion between Aqua Texas, local developer/speculator of Woodcreek North, Precinct 3 Commissioner and very possibly 2 members of the HTGD who have water-related/water dependent BUSINESSES. Does this area NEED another golf course that ultimately sucks the life out of our aquifer and also becomes, once again, a financial drain on our Community; once again, depressing home and property values. What happened the first time around with the now proposed revitalization of that course in Woodcreek North? Has anyone looked into what it takes to just set up a golf course never mind run it to make a profit. Golf courses can use as much water in a year as a family of 4 could use in 4 years; think about the pesticides that may be used on that golf course and then leached into the aquifers...and for whose benefit are these courses ultimately for..not you and me.

Water Foul said...

Speaking of golf courses, I heard that golf course water-happy Wimberley Springs has been holding private off the record talks with HTGD board members to finally get their long stalled groundwater pumping permit approved. Guess all they need a permit for now is to frame it and hang it on the wall. They've been pumping and using ground water without a permit all along so what's the point. What's the point of a groundwater district if this kind of hanky panky is being allowed all over the district?

Richard Sullivan said...

In my first post I forgot to thank Jimmy Skipton for at least trying to do something that the former “Backus” Board was unable or unwilling to do. I would give Skipton points for effort but it really rates an incomplete due to the fact that nothing has been solved. The fact that Aqua will fix the leaks and charge us for the work is just ludicrous. They will say it with a smile and one of them even said to me, “You don’t expect US to pay for it, do you?”

Aqua America, bought this system in July of 2003 as part of a package deal for $190,717,000 in cash from AquaSource, sight unseen. The Woodcreeks turned out to be the worst of the package, according one ATI representative. The acquired operations of AquaSource serve over 130,000 water and wastewater customers in 11 states. In the Woodcreeks at least, they did not perform their due diligence before the purchase and when they discovered the leaks here they chose not to fix them just put their storage tank on higher ground to boost the pressure to comply with the State law. Now they are hated for the leaks and overcharging their customers. The HTGCD will never give them a permit for more pumping to supply the expected growth as long as the leaks are there. Apparently, one of these geniuses came up with this lame idea ... and the conversation must have gone something like this;

“We’ll never get a permit from the District since everybody hates us. I know,,,, let’s fix the leaks and get some good press for a change and use to water we save for the new developments. Besides we don’t have to pay for the fix since those TCEQ lightweights will allow us to charge our dumb-ass customers for the labor and materials. We get the water we need, pay nothing for it, the leaks get fixed, everybody loves us and we make millions,,,, Is this a great country or what?”

That of course, is a fictional account but I would bet it happened just like that. This is a great idea if you work for a company that has no soul and doesn’t care about their customers and has a corrupt government bureaucracy waiting in the wings with a rubber stamp.

I would have thought that the new people we voted into office would pickup on this story and hold Aqua’s feet to the fire and make this right. I’m still waiting for someone with the courage of their convictions to stand up for us out here in the Cedar Barrens of Woodcreek I and II.

"Snarky" says, I am sorry if anyone was offended by my first post, naming you as “water worshipers”. I was not trying to cast aspersions, It is just that I really don’t know what else to call you, although at least one of you knew who I was talking about. What would you like to be called? ;)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #7: If all that lost water eventually ends up back in the aquifer then please explain why there is a mad dash to build a pipeline to bring water to the Wimberley Valley?

Anonymous said...

@Water Foul, (a.k.a. WSP Hater), you are wrong about the “off the record meetings” or more likely you just making this crap up. If you had cared enough to attend the last HTGCD public meeting, you would have heard Winton Porterfield make a very convincing case for his company to receive a permit. It is the responsibility of HTGCD Board members to investigate these requests further before reaching a decision on a matter this important. I don’t think even you, would expect them to to hum and meditate to arrive at a decision.

Anonymous said...

Do my eyes deceive me or is Richard holding out the proverbial olive branch? Thank you Richard!

There can be no better example than the waste and rates abuses perpetrated on the two Woodcreeks by Aqua and TCEQ as to why this community needs to finally stand and deliver.

Having said that. There is no excuse for anyone to remain apathetic. If you cannot even write a letter, return a petition, make a phone call then you deserve what you get. Get involved!

Anonymous said...

Re: WSP lover's response to water fowl:

You don't find it a bit disconcerting that Wimberley Springs Partners has been pumping without a permit?

Perhaps Porterfield got the green light from the Good Ole Boys on the HTGCD with a 'back room' wink and a nod.

Anonymous said...

Please let me know when they start charging the High Rates from fixing the lines. I want to make sure I can sell my home before I go broke and can't afford to live (or die) with the higher rates. They (AQUA) will charge to fix this system. The only way I see to make sure "WE THE PEOPLE" don't get screwed in this is to vote out all the numnuts who make these stupid promises. I'm glad to see Rose out since his nose got to brown from lying to us all just so he could be in office. This Brent person with Aqua is he the same one in which is wife is a big shot or manager for this area with the TCEQ. Talk about in BED with each other. TCEQ where are your balls to stand up for the People that pay your salaries?

Anonymous said...

Methinks Richard might be straddlin' both sides of the fence here not really extending "the proverbial olive branch" to any one entity.

Anonymous said...

While WSP might be looking to bring back a golf course in Woodcreek North, my thought would be to look further outside the box. Scoop up as much of Woodcreek North properties, by fair means or foul, as monies allow more for the water beneath the land than for the building of a golf course or those ticky-tacky, cookie-cutter style KB homes. Look to the elected officials within Precinct 3 for allowing this to happen along with those individuals in TCEQ who turn their heads and allow rate increase after rate increase.

Anonymous said...

This is a very big intractable predicament, and a no-win all the way around. Aqua's rates are set to rise again. The residents of WC and WCN can barely afford them now. The high rates and poor service is a turn off to prospective home buyers and current property owners are stuck with property they can't sell.

Mr. Conley, with his private talks may thnk he is the center of the universe and is doing everybody a big favor, when what he is doing is pushing a plan to pipe in water to supplement the supply for Aqua thereby solidifying its hold over the ratepayers and community. Aqua is no friend to the community. And Conley is nothing more than a glorified flim-flam man.

What do you call this hopeless situation? A Black Hole. Where nothing escapes.

Anonymous said...

The WSP Hater that posts here is a member of the WPOA that just can’t stand the fact that WSP took Section 19 from their grips by legal means, a vote. If she keeps this up the WSP may decide to take the rest of the Sections. They might anyway.

What's that smell? said...

Attention Woodcreek North and
Wimberley Springs residents who live next to or near the Woodcreek
North "golf course":

Aqua Texas claims that it has some
sort of right to spray treated
effluent onto the fairways and
greens of the originally-platted golf course. When I first moved to Wimberley some years ago, they WERE spraying the stuff on the golf course, and it smelled terrible. When I would go out in the morning to pick up my newspaper, I'd get an instant
headache from breathing the stench.
Enough of us residents complained
to what was then called Aqua Source, and they stopped spraying.

But Aqua Texas is "processing"
wastewater at a rate beyond
the capacity of its plant
to handle. Actually, they are NOT
processing it all. They still have
a frac tank serving homes in
Woodcreek North. It's kept out of
sight on the fenced off area owned
by Aqua Texas at the end of a road
in Section 19, where the WPOA
office once was. Huge trucks (hard
on the roads) empty the frac tank
from time to time. Gods know what
they do with the sewage....

Not only should HTGCD fine Aqua
Texas for wasting over 35% (some
say 50%) of the water they pump,
but Hays County commissioners
should allow no more homes to be
built in Aqua's CCN area until
Aqua upsizes its sewage treatment

Are you aware that Aqua Texas
supplies the water and the
wastewater treatment for the new
Jacob's Well Elementary School?
How did Aqua get that contract when
they were already having trouble
processing all the wastewater
they were responsible for?

If Aqua Texas starts spraying
effluent again, you can bet that
many Woodcreek North & Wimberley
Springs residents will be out with
signs warning prospective homebuyers of the resulting smell.

Nice Try said...

To: "Scoop up...Woodcreek North properties...,as monies allow more
for the water beneath the land than
for the building...of homes."

Sounds like a good idea, EXCEPT:

Deed restrictions on lots in both
Woodcreek North and Wimberley Springs PROHIBIT the drilling of
personal water wells. The owners
of lots are mandated to tie on to
whatever water supply system that
is in place. I wonder whether a court would rule in favor of the lot owner since Texas seems to abide by what they call The Rule of Capture?

Anonymous said...

@Nice Try: Nothing was said about "personal WELLS" more about LOTS owner.

??? said...

I don't know why Wimberley Springs
Partners (WSP) would want to re-open the "golf course" in Woodcreek North which is in dismal shape. Charles Ray (Midland co-owner of WSP) once said they were losing over $350,000 a year by keeping open the golf course in the City of Woodcreek.

Probably WSP wants to tell
prospective homebuyers that there
will "soon" be a golf course in
their Wimberley Springs area
(formerly part of Woodcreek North).

Anonymous said...

Why all the anonymous messages?
At least Richard signed his name to his posting whether it was received well or not. If one believes in their postings then be big enough to sign your name.

Anonymous said...

It may surprise you to know that Aqua Texas has been irrigating the Golf Course in the City of Woodcreek for years with 200,000 gallons treated effluent every day and nobody is complaining, not even the golfers. The overly expensive Jacob’s Well Elementary does indeed get its water and sewer service from aqua Texas and was approved by Will Conley and the WISD. Sadly the “Rule of Capture” is handicapped in Hays County since you can’t drill a well for private use unless you have 6 acres or more. That was a County regulation which is controversial and might be unconstitutional since some think the County does not have the authority to regulate wells, it’s the preview if the HTGCD.

What's that smell? said...

Yes, I know the City of Woodcreek
golf course is irrigated with
effluent water, but that has been
going on for quite a while, and
all the "gunk" is continuously
sprayed out of the lines. The lines
to the "golf course" in Woodcreek
North have been sitting there,
filling up for years, and when
the effluent comes through the
lines, combined with the resident
gunk, the smell is pretty bad.
At least that's what Aqua Texas
told us residents several years
ago, when they stopped spraying
effluent onto the Woodcreek North golf course.

Besides that, the spray is not
going to recognize a boundary of
where the golf course ends. The
effluent spray will drift onto
back porches, through windows into
homes, onto your pets. Do you think
that sounds very sanitary?

Anonymous said...

@???: TA DAAAAAAAAH!! Someday could be a long waaaaaaay off but it is a selling point!! The future golf course story is one that has been told for YEARS!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous 11:53 what's YOUR name??

Nice Try said...

To Anonymous 11:46 a.m.:

How does a LOT owner get water
from under his own land other than
by a WELL?

Anonymous said...

What "business" is WPOA in anyway other than harassing residents of the area, divesting property from owners and then gifting property over to the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association? No one but a few folks on the board even wants the WPOA and most of the residents would like to see it dissolved.

Now regarding the comment: "Sadly the “Rule of Capture” is handicapped in Hays County since you can’t drill a well for private use unless you have 6 acres or more. "...

That's not quite accurate. That is the county's "agenda 21" crowd's objectives. At best it would apply only to new subdivisions being platted - not existing subdivisions. However, it's true that it was out of the county's jurisdiction to make up such a restriction on property. The requirement is also intellectually dishonest since the county has no problem with reducing the spacing requirement to 0.5 acres if you get the same groundwater from a central well system.

In the name of "sustainability" the former county commissioner in-fact developed regulations that promote only higher density development such that the groundwater is consumed at a much higher rate/acre. What a fraud.

Anonymous said...

When the bunch of you are ready to look at the facts with an open mind and not with your closed mind blinders on maybe then you can contribute to the solution of our valleys problems not just flap your lips.

Anonymous said...

We already have one golf course in this valley that barely has enough play on it to keep it open. The woodcreek north golf course has opened and closed twice. We do not need another golf course sucking up precious water. WSP is irresponsible and money hungry to want to use the water saved by fixing the leaks by opening another poorly used and unneeded golf course. If WSP wants to help the community open a swimming pool for the entire community not just their property owners.

Anonymous said...

Poser at 8:58p.m.

There can be no doubt you are on WSP's under the table payola. You are intent upon causing derision and you have no credibility.

Anonymous said...

I am not on WSP or anyone "payloa" I have lived in this valley for over 20 years and do not want to see it ruined by closed minded people who are not interested in learning the facts before opening their mouths.

Anonymous said...

“If WSP wants to help the community open a swimming pool for the entire community not just their property owners.”

What kind of absurdity is that? WSP is a business not a government entity or feel good organization their allegiance is to their stockholders and property owners. If you were so interested in saving water, why would you want a swimming pool opened? You are so obsessed with the proposed golf course you are starting to lose it. Adding a golf course to Woodcreek Phase II would enhance property values for all sections and if you live there you should want that.

I suspect your agenda is based on revenge and fear that he will absorb more of your sections. Give it a rest, will you? You will be okay, just stay on your meds.

Anonymous said...

A Swimming pool would use less water than a golf course. I don't care if he takes in all of woodcreek north. I am worried about the 500 acre feet of water he would waste on a course that no one would use. IF he really wants to serve his property owners then he needs to be a good steward of the natural resources that his property owners expect him to be.

Anonymous said...

So what if WSP acquires other sections (or actually releases them from WPOA). If he has enough votes in a section to remove it from WPOA, then why the heck wouldn't he?

WPOA offers nothing but harassment and a liability to owners. From the individual owners' standpoint does it really matter which tyrant is in control - or would owners be better off without any tyrant at all?

Your deed restrictions were written for the developer and their successors, not you. Consider your anti-well deed restriction. That restriction benefits the investor owned utility, not the property owner. If WSP gains control then perhaps it will eliminate that ridiculous deed restriction. Individual wells aren't wasting 40% of the water drawn out. At the estimated cost, the economics are weighted towards having your own well.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous @1/30/11 7:46pm

re: "There can be no doubt you are on WSP's under the table payola. You are intent upon causing derision and you have no credibility."

Not affiliated with WSP in any way whatsoever. "Derision" is already in place and well-deserved as far as WPOA is concerned (and for CARD and WVWA for that matter).

Exactly what statement do you not find credible?
1. The ill-conceived environmental subdivision regs were set forth by the former commissioners court. Do you want to debate that?

2. That WPOA is foreclosing on properties (allegedly for failure to pay assessments) and also conveying property over to WVWA while excusing WVWA from paying assessments. Visit Hays County Clerks Office - it's in the public record. Want to debate the actions of WPOA or WVWA?

3. Do you want to debate the identity of those who have tried to take away individual property owners' rights to access groundwater? You'll see the same names over and over again.

Your written equivalent of "unh-unh" hardly gives you any leg up in credibility.

Richard Sullivan said...

Aqua America, Inc. has owned this system for 7 1/2 years and they knew from the start that their system was in poor shape. They also knew that about half the water that they pumped into the lines, was being lost, yet the have done nothing about it. Why have they waited until now? Have they all of a sudden become public spirited? When did they see the light? Of course this is a business and their first obligation is to their stockholders but they have been given a legal and moral responsibility to the community by the State of Texas to provide a safe supply of water without polluting or wasting that valuable resource. They have failed miserably and sadly our State and local regulatory bodies have looked the other way.

This sudden rush to fix their system is not out of the goodness of their hearts. They did not do this for anyone or anything but their bottom line. I have no problem with them fixing the leaks and keeping and even selling the water they end up "saving". I firmly object the notion that they are doing it because the care for the people of Woodcreek I & II. To be honest my real concern is that they expect their customers to pay for their self inflicted misfortune in buying a leaky system in the first place. I will be very surprised if the TCEQ makes them pay for any part of the fix.

I have less of a concern with the claim that the water is being "wasted" since I believe the leaked water probably percolates right back down the source from whence it came, the Trinity Aquifer. I realize that the idea may sound sacrilegious to some.

Anonymous said...

Whew! Thank you, Richard! Many of the previous postings went waaaaaaaay off the primary issues. Can the communities involved locally do anything about bringing those regulatory bodies to heel? Maybe, maybe not. But they do need to LISTEN! And to date, they have not! Those elected officials certainly have a voice; a voice we elected them to use...FOR us.

Anonymous said...

All of you have put forth the main reasons why the property owners of WSP & WPOA need to incorporate as a town. If they incorporated the town would be able to negotiate water rates, set zoning rules and remove the need for developers and property/community owner associations. However the local developers do not want that and have sent out false information and those who bought in to their false information are keeping the people from doing what is right for our communities. You can complain about water rates but until we incorporate you can't do a #!*$ thing about them.

Anonymous said...

Richard the water being leaked back into the aquifer indeed returns to the aquifer. However the water being pumped currently is over 20,000 years old. It takes a long time for the water to percolate through the limestone and in the mean time we are drawing more water out and further depleting the aquifer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 3:14 am WSP allowing water wells! Have you read their deed restrictions? They will not allow septic tanks or water wells. I would love to have a well and a septic tank but the deed restrictions here are stricter than my friends in woodcreek north.


Groundhog day said...

I have heard that Aqua's service contract with Woodcreek expires or comes up for review this year. Can anyone shed any light on this? If so, why can't Woodcreek tell Aqua to go jump in the lake? Maybe it's not that simple, but it seems that Aqua's repairs would dramatically increase the value of the system and virtually price itself out of the reach of potential buyers with limited capital. Maybe that's the plan to make itself unaffordable except of course to a gigantic bond package to be underwritten by the taxpayers. Either way it's a helluva deal for Aqua. Buy a run down water system do nothing to fix it over 7 years charge the customers astronomical rates to the point of suffocation and then flip it for a huge profit. I don't understand how folks in the 2 Woodcreeks can stand by and continue to be trampled on. Is anyone looking out for the just rights of the residents or do they really have any rights.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with that Incorporation BS again. Just look over toward The City of Woodcreek for an example of what that will do and won’t do. They have Aqua Texas water and sewer and they still have nearly the same rates as Woodcreek North. On top of that they have an ad valorem tax that more than makes up for their slightly cheaper water rates. They also have one of those evil golf courses. They don’t have a POA, which is a plus, and the fact that they are not faced with foreclosure and forced sale of their property has helped maintain their property values.

How about the fiasco of a local government Wimberley has. They don’t have a property tax (yet) but they have business to collect their sales tax. They are facing a monumental crisis over the lack of a viable wastewater system and their people may have to pay upwards of $10,000 for a hookup if they ever get one that works. If the decide to ask for a property tax the folks over there will surely vote to unincorporate that little burg. Ask some of the Wimberley citizens about what incorporation has brought them.

Incorporation has been tried in Woodcreek North thrice before and it was overwhelmingly defeated all three times. The people of that subdivision are a fiercely independent lot and would like to get rid of the WPOA as well. Bring THAT to a vote and see how well you fare. Bring it on!

Anonymous said...

If you get rid of the WPOA who will repair your roads, not the county ones, the subdivision ones? The county will not take over unimproved roads. Without a POA if your neighbor wants to run a dog breeding business or a boarding home or put in a trailer park next to you there would be no way to stop them. You would pay for the upkeep of the road to your home (approx $100 per foot) and have no say over what your neighborhood would look like. I would not like a puppy mill next to me.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 11:31 am:

Only partly correct. It's true
that, in absence of a POA, the
homeowners would have to keep up
the non-county roads. But all the
remarks about puppy mills, trailer
parks, boarding houses, etc. are
wrong. Those uses are prohibited
by deed restrictions for the lots.

Anonymous said...

To the misguided and ignorant Anonymous that stated; "Without a POA if your neighbor wants to run a dog breeding business or a boarding home or put in a trailer park next to you there would be no way to stop them."

If there is a prohibition it would be in the deed restrictions. You don't need a POA to enforce deed restrictions. If there is not a restriction prohibiting it, then POA has no business trying to prevent it. So you don't need a POA.

Anonymous said...

Anon @11:31, it's been quite a few years since I read the Wookdcreek restrictions, but I'm pretty sure enforcement is not limited to the POA. I'd almost be willing to bet any landowner within the subdivision can sue to enforce.

Anonymous said...

I am curious. If the water pipes are leaking couldn't one assume so are the sewer lines?

If the answer is yes. Then why has TCEQ allowed Aqua Texas to leak sewage into the aquifer all these years?

Anonymous said...

If there is no poa then there are no deed restrictions. You are just a subdivision in the country. If you want to sue and spend up wards of $10,000 to enforce deed restrictions that would no longer exist be my guest.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous at 2:48 pm, I have also wondered about that since most of the sewer system is of a pressurized type with each residence having a “Grinder Pump” at the outlet of their home’s sewer line and several lift pumps in the subdivision. This is another one of those things that nobody wants to ask or talk about. It does stand to reason that if the water pipes are leaking then why not the sewer pipes? They were put in at the same time by the same bunch of incompetents. I suspect they are indeed leaking and also percolating down to the aquifer but according to the Anonymous comment at 8:17 am it will take 20,000 years for it to get there. If you believe that ridiculous claim I guess we don’t have a problem!

It is important to remember that twice last year Aqua was forced by the TCEQ to report E-coli bacteria in one of their wells in Woodcreek North. Let me see, raw sewage, under pressure, in leaky pipes, sounds like pretty grim, ugh.

Anonymous said...

Your Deed restrictions are recorded on the County and “run with the property” as they say. If your POA only arbitrarily enforces restrictions on people they don’t like or the ones that haven’t paid their fees or dues, you would be better off without them. While HOA/POAs sound like a good thing on the surface they become oppressive as the aggressive busybodies start to populate the board and bring their buddies along. They are the single most undemocratic and harmful organizations in America since the demise of the KKK.

Anonymous said...

re: "If there is no poa then there are no deed restrictions. You are just a subdivision in the country. If you want to sue and spend up wards of $10,000 to enforce deed restrictions that would no longer exist be my guest."

This is an absolutely ignorant statement. You can have deed restrictions without a POA. Getting rid of the POA does not get rid of any other deed restrictions.

Perhaps more troubling is your idea that the primary business of the POA is to sue and harass. Indeed, they are nothing but a pox on the residents and a windfall for the HOA attorney. If you have an issue you are free to file suit to enforce the deed restrictions yourself. Just don't expect the rest of the residents to fund your concept of aesthetics via litigation.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to see that manners and common courtesy are no longer practiced by the citizens of wimberley. This blog is supposed to be about the water leaks repair in woodcreek 1 & 2 not about insulting peoples ideas and intelligence. If you don't like hoa's and poa's that is fine but there is no call to equate them with the kkk or call people stupid or suggest that because they don't agree with you they are mentally ill. Shame on all of you.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:12pm:

Thank you for your focused comment on the issue of sewer leaks.

@ 7:52p.m.: Thank you so much for calling out those who have turned this opportunity to engage in useful dialogue into hate-speech.

I am really interested in how we as customers of Aqua Texas can prevent increased rates and see our system fixed once and for all.

So, could we please join together and find a way to be respected and heard by our elected officials and the TCEQ?

If every customer of Aqua Texas would pick up a pen and write a letter to their elected officials and the TCEQ it will have a big impact. 1,500 letters received within a few days is hard for anyone to overlook.

Come on...we can do this!

Anonymous said...

Creek flow will probably decrease after they fix all the leaks. A lot of the lost water is probably making it's way into the creek.

Anonymous said...

The fact that we now have 57 comments - even though some are follow-ups - speaks volumes about how the water providers, the regulators, the developers, and the rate payers are either mismanaging their duties or being too passive about their citizen responibilities.

Sullivan's third comment summarizes it pretty well.

I own a rental property in WC 2 and I feel stuck if I want to rent it or sell it. To rent it I have to lower the rent so the tenant can afford the water - or I have to give up money to sell it because of the ATI reputation. ATI has got to go.

ATI is like our own little Hosni Mubarak. It had better change its ways or "step down" - before it gets ugly.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:56, you are flat out wrong.. Deed restrictions absent some very specific language, can be enforced by any property owner in the area affected by same.. If there is an HOA/POA they too may enforce them.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest the issue is private water supply, or private any other utility companies, absent real regulatory authority that is actually enforced.

Treehugger said...

Golf courses are de facto water treatment plants. They have "solved" the effluent problem for many an suburban sprawl housing project.

And the continued existence of the married couple both heading Aqua Texas around here and the section of TCEQ that allows companies like Aqua Texas to raise their rates is a travesty that needs to be addresses.

You would think these two lovebirds would have changed their names before pulling this over on the citizens here, but I guess we really ARE that stupid.

Aqua Texas is playing us all for fools and it is high time Woodcreek BOUGHT that system back from them (their agreement expires in July) and runs it by and for the people in their area.

Profits could be funneled back INTO the system for required maintenance and upgrades, not sent off to the corporate office to bolster their stockholders' bottom line.

Local control of our natural resources: An idea whose time has come.

Thinking long-term said...

Privatization of water is a big and growing business and Aqua Texas is just our local version of a very bad idea.

Anonymous said...

I agree we should all write letters to the TCEQ and our legislative officials about our concerns over poor maintenance of water and sewer lines and the high cost of utilities. Also we should request a moratorium on granting any new water pumping permits until such time as all our concerns have been addressed.

Anonymous said...


AquaTex has no obligation to sell you squat. Any agreement you might have is simply a "settlement" between the parties which if not in place can be resolved via a TCEQ contested case hearing. You will lose that hearing because TCEQ does not operate for residents. Much like the TRCC used to be before it was dissolved, the TCEQ is an industry protection outfit operating under the pretext of protecting the environment. [The TRCC was a builder-protection commission and its enabling statutes were authored by the mega home builders]. Don't expect SOAH to treat you any better - it's all part of the "make it look like a fair hearing" facade.

You will be told that "you chose this" (kind of like being told you chose to be subjected to an out of control private government even though the county has been mandating them for quite some time for any subdivision). Then it will be "your fault" and "your responsibility" to accept the natural result of "your choice". Of course there are also "deed restrictions" designed to protect the water utility (these should be challenged), but you "chose" this, right?

@Thinking long term... Your comments are appreciated but instead of socialization ("our water"), perhaps one solution is to preserve the right of the individual to not be subjected to the faux "good of the community" which is the rationale for forcing the vast majority of the population to pay for what benefits a very, very few in control. If you have the right to install your own residential well, that right helps keep retail water rates in check. You also eliminate the "single point" 100% waste problem typical of a central water system. If Aqua loses 40% of the water, it's equivalent to 100% of the residents wasting 40% of their water yet the residents can do nothing about it. Residential wells do not suffer from such a problem. So for "conservation", economics, and individual rights, it is absolutely important for property owners to preserve THEIR right to access the groundwater beneath their land for their own use.

Anonymous said...

Tree hugger: I agree with you completely. Too bad @12:45pm seems to think it is necessary to lecture you as if you were a two year old throwing a tantrum.

He/she seems to think we have no option but to roll over and take it. Or drill our own private well which is yet another cost-prohibitive 'solution'.

Does anyone have an update on the Sunset Commission's recommendation to Sunset TCEQ?

Anonymous said...

The TCEQ is not going away and if it did, Perry would just hire them all back under a new name.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1:59 PM - read what you commented on again. The poster you commented on did not advise drilling a well. The poster advised protecting the right to drill a well. As it stands now, the water utility knows that you have no choice due to restrictive covenants which improperly serve to extend the monopoly that the water utility has.

The CCN granted by TCEQ only allows the water utility to exclude other retail service providers from the area - not to demand that you be a customer. Those restrictive covenants operate to force you to be a customer of the utility - for all water. Until the playing field changes you can expect to be taken advantage of over and over again. So it's important to understand that the utility must be concerned about the potential loss of customers instead of being able to operate with the knowledge that customers can't leave no matter how bad things are.