City threatens to sue homeowner for illegal water pipe

An Austin man is fighting to keep illegal water pipes out of Lake Austin (Amanda Brandeis)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin is threatening to sue a homeowner next week. They say the resident is drawing water illegally from Lake Austin.

An Austin man has been following the case for years, repeatedly reporting the violation to the city.

“My family’s been here on the lake since 1963,” said Alan Roody, a concerned citizen. “We’ve been in Austin since 1960.”

Roddy says he’s a man of few words. But, that Is not the case when he’s fighting for something he loves. On Saturday morning, he told council members that nothing has been done.

“After seeing how much damage has been done in the past few years, I decided somebody needs to speak on behalf of the lake.”

In 2006, Roddy notified the city of illegal water pipes and other items along Emma Long Metropolitan Park. The city removed them.

“About four years ago one property owner re-installed their pipe. The city calls it encroaching, I call it trespassing.”

In August, the city sent a letter to the property owner, telling them to remove all pipes along the city’s property. Back then, the city threatened a lawsuit, but it was never filed.

Roddy took KXAN on a boat ride through Lake Austin, and pointed out the illegal pump.

“Even though they’ve been told several times to remove their pipes, they either move them to a different location, or camouflage them or take them out for a couple months and re-install them.”

The city says they have sent another letter, and the homeowner has until June 6 to remove the pump.

Andy Perny, a City of Austin legal representative, said, “This time, it will be a firm lawsuit if we don’t get it resolved.”

“A lot of new people don’t understand that no trespassing means no trespassing. We set aside a lot of this land for future generations and we wish people would respect it,” said Roddy.

He says he’ll keep fighting for the lake until real changes are made.

KXAN reached out for comment from the homeowner that the city says they could sue, but no one was home at the time. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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