(December 11, 2011) The Belton/Stillhouse water pipeline project:
What is it? This will be a 7 mile long water carrying pipeline from the southern side of Lake Belton, near the dam, to to the northern side of Lake Stillhouse Hollow. It will connect the two lakes but, the water flow will be one way: from Lake Belton to Lake Stillhouse Hollow.
What's the purpose: The Lake Belton to Lake Stillhouse Hollow pipeline project is primarily designed to delay the need for development of new sources of water by utilizing currently unused Lake Belton water in the decades prior to 2060. With the implementation of this pipeline, the combined supplies from the three reservoirs can meet existing contract demands until approximately 2060. The proposed pipeline could transfer up to 30,000 acft per year to Lake Stillhouse Hollow. (1 acft is one acre of water 1 foot deep or; 144,000 gallons) From Lake Stillhouse Hollow, some of the Lake Belton water could be transferred to Lake Georgetown via the existing Williamson County Regional Raw Water Pipeline. The Lake Belton to Lake Stillhouse Hollow Pipeline will allow the BRA to operate these three lakes as a system, increasing the reliability of the supplies to the area.
When will water be pumped from Lake Belton? Pumping will be initiated from Lake Belton every time Lake Stillhouse Hollow has been drawn down significantly and has less than 130,000 acft in storage.
Why do we care? The downside for Lake Belton area residents: When the lake is low (like now) the lake will become more low in order to supply needed water to the Stillhouse Hollow and Lake Georgetown areas. This will negatively affect recreational opportunities as well as appearence of the lake. There isn't any upside for Lake Belton area residents because, potential flooding of Lake Belton can not be alleviated by this pipeline and water cannot be pumped into Lake Belton from Lake Stillhouse Hollow during low-lake times.
What is the chance of some kind of cross contamination between the two lakes? That possibility has not been fully researched or verified.
What will this cost and who will pay? It will cost at least 36 million to construct the pipeline and at least another 4.5 million every year to operate it. You can bet you will be paying part of that cost.
When is this supposed to happen? Construction is expected to begin in 2020 and take about a year to complete.
More information about this project can be found in the second half of THIS DOCUMENT. (March 3, 2012) Information about the the Belton/Stillhouse water pipeline project was first published by Woodlake.net in December, 2011. Tips prompting that story (see the story below) were sent to Woodlake.net from Denman's Loop property owners. On March 3, 2012, the Temple Daily Telegram published a similar story. See that TDT story, HERE.