Horseshoe Bend residents have banded together to create and sign a petition that has been sent to officials to keep Mark Patterson, Patterson Water Supply, as its public water system manager.

Patterson was appointed the temporary manager on July 3 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality following violations with the owner of the water system, Castle Water Inc. Patterson’s appointment is set to expire on Dec. 30.

“We have been trying to keep Patterson Water Supply. Mark Patterson was appointed as temporary manager and he has done [things] above and beyond our expectations — also keeping us informed on our online sites like we never have had for many years,” HSB resident Wylie Bullard said. “There have been filings for a new company to take over, but we are concerned Castle Water may be trying to get it back under another name and we don’t want or need their inability to deliver reliable and safe service, especially knowing it can be done by Patterson. We feel safe with Patterson and not under boil notice year-round.”

The petition details previous issues with Castle Water and asks that officials allow Patterson to continue his service in the community with many signatures attached to the document.

TCEQ Media Relations Specialist Andrew Keese said TCEQ has received the petition from HSB residents.

“TCEQ appreciates the information contained within the petition as it supports Mark Patterson’s qualifications to be appointed temporary manager of the utility,” Keese said. “Whether the agency can reappoint a temporary manager for the system will also depend on whether the criteria for abandonment still exists as of the expiration date of the first order and whether a willing person can be found to temporarily operate the utility.”

Keese said it is possible that Patterson could be appointed for another 180-day term as the temporary manager. Keese said generally, the reappointment would happen the same day as the expiration date.

On Oct. 10, Castle Water filed an application for the sale, transfer or merger of facilities and certificates rights with the Public Utility Commission with a deadline of Nov. 12 for PUC staff to file a recommendation on the completeness of the application. The requested transfer includes about 1,231 acres and 507 customers.

However, according to the documentation on the PUC website, staff found the application to be administratively incomplete after identifying deficiencies in the application content.

“Therefore, staff recommends that a deadline of Dec. 12 be established for applicants to supplement the application,” according to the PUC document. “Staff further recommends that a deadline of Jan. 13, 2020 be established for staff to review applicants’ supplemental information and make a recommendation on the administrative completeness of the application.”

Patterson said he hopes if a company purchases the system, they are aware of the scope of necessary repairs.

“Thank you to all of the residents that have said kind words. My concern is continually bursting pipes. We had another one [Monday] and have averaged one per week. Many thousands of feet of six-inch and eight-inch pipe will have to be replaced soon,” Patterson said. “The [sale, transfer, merger] doesn’t mention this issue. I don’t know if the purchasing company is aware of the size and scope of the necessary repairs. Without this being dealt with, it will cause major issues with both the new company and the residents. Patterson Water Supply did make an offer to purchase the system, but our offer was rejected.”

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