Weatherford Democrat

Local News

August 15, 2012

Annetta gets water upgrade

ANNETTA — City officials from the Town of Annetta and the City of Hudson Oaks and others gathered Tuesday morning near the site of two new water wells by Stuard Elementary to mark the Town of Annetta’s recent $1 million upgrade to the Deer Creek Water System with a celebratory groundbreaking.

“It’s an honor to be here,” Annetta Mayor Bruce Pinckard said. “It has taken countless hours spent by countless individuals to get to this point. This is a historic moment for this community.”

The first phase of the water system improvements has cost about $619,000. It includes wells in two different aquifers, a 300,000 gallon storage tank and a new wellhouse.

The second phase will add a 75,000 gallon storage tank at the northern end of the system, near Old Annetta Road, to increase storage and provide pressure at the bottom of the system.

The extensive improvements — financed through municipal bonds — are expected to increase the system’s capacity by about 50 percent.

Pinckard took a moment to reflect on Annetta’s past challenges and improvements, pointing out that the town’s attractive setting and good schools led to rapid growth that outpaced infrastructure.

When the Deer Creek Water System was sold to another city, he said, it threatened the town itself.   

“We realized that our ability to control our very existence as a town was slipping through our fingers as services were now being provided by another municipality in which we as a town and you as customers and citizens had no voice at all,” he said.

After Annetta eventually purchased the Deer Creek System, Pinckard said, the town made changes that targeted improving services for existing customers, rather than trying to add more.

Policy was approved, for example, that holds future developers responsible for improving the water system’s quality, design and capacity, he said, to head off the irrigation bans and low water pressure caused by “unbridled development.”

City officials also established key relationships with the City of Hudson Oaks, the water system’s operator, and with Harkins Engineering, a firm that tests, models and plans for the system.

The changes have made a big difference, Pinckard told the small crowd.

“Two short years ago the customers of this system were denied any outdoor watering from the onset of the irrigation season, which begins in May,” he said. “This year, the second in an extreme extended drought of historical proportions, we only began restrictions in July.”

Annetta’s current system, which serves more than 700 customers in Annetta and Annetta South, has been restricted to once a week outdoor watering since the beginning of July.

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