Pumping station on Lake Travis has nearby homeowners fuming

Lake Travis, Jonestown file photo (Julie Karam/KXAN)
Lake Travis, Jonestown file photo (Julie Karam/KXAN)

JONESTOWN, Texas (KXAN) –A new barge placed on Lake Travis to help pump water to surrounding communities has sent some lakeside residents overboard.

The long-lasting drought forced many growing communities to think about their future water supply, which is why Leander and Cedar Park started working on plans to get water from deeper portions of the lake several years ago.

The $7 million project was divided into phases. The first phase included building a longer pipeline that would reach deeper into the water. The second included a barge to pump out water, which was recently set up in an arm of Lake Travis near Jonestown.

“This used to be the best part of the lake to ski in, to float in, and it was complete silence,” said Barb Misle Freund, a Jonestown resident.

Residents are not just worried about the noise though.

“Between the pipe coming in and the buoys they have going around it, you’ve pretty much taken off this whole arm of the lake,” said Art Donovan.

There are also concerns about safety, the future of the lake, and the next step in the project.

“Who wants their child swimming around this?” Misle Freund asked. “We’re going to fight…we want the community to care about our lake.”

Cedar Park officials said they invited Jonestown residents to come by Thursday so they could hear what the pumps would sound like turned on.

“We welcome their feedback to help us ensure that this temporary project shared by the cities of Cedar Park and Leander is as smooth as possible for everyone involved as we work to continue to provide quality drinking water to our residents during this extreme drought,” said Jennie Huerta, a spokesperson for the City of Cedar Park.

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