Will Stone Oak have enough water this summer? It depends on who you ask.

Can BexarMet meet the 6000 gpm goal during peak times by the end of June.    According to BexarMet General Manager, Gil Olivares, the answer is yes.  Olivares addressed the Stone Oak Advisory Committee Wednesday afternoon to discuss BexarMet's plan to adequately supply an additional 6000 gpm to the Stone Oak area during peak usage times and accomplish this task by June 30th, a deadline set by the committee.

However, many in the audience were skeptical and wanted to hear less talk and see more results.  BexarMet Board Director, Lesley Wenger, addressed the group with less than enthusiastic optimism about meeting the deadline.  "There's no infrastructure in the ground to meet the demand by June", Wenger stated. 

The BexarMet plan started with the recent hiring of engineer firm Carter Burgess.  Buddy Barnes with Carter Burgess was at the meeting to  answer questions from the group and explained the steps they will be taking to accomplish this daunting task.  There are two primary problems in Stone Oak, water supply and equalized water pressure across all neighborhoods.   The plan  to solve the water supply issue is to bring water from a new water well at the BexarMet Bitters Water Production Facility, south of Hill Country Village and move that 1500 gallons per minute from 1000 mean sea level to 1300 mean sea level with a series of pumps and pipes  to the ground storage tanks that exist in Stone Oak currently.  In addition,  new Water Exploration Company wells or the WECO wells  at the Stein track east of Blanco Road will also tie into the current system and provide another 4000 gallons per minute of water supply.  And finally, the WECO wells at Rogers track will tie in to the main system to add an additional 1400 gpms bringing the grand total to just under 8000 gallons per minute during peak usage time.  And all of this will be approved, built and online by June 30th, according to Olivares.

But there are  "no gaurantees", Mr. Olivares commented.  "BexarMet is working to meet its commitments and secure all of its contracts."  Anything can happen to slow the process down.  However, Olivares seemed very confident that his crews and the engineers with Carter Burgess can make this deadline.

The second issue, if the water supply plan delivers enough water to Stone Oak,  is to be able maintain equalized pressure across all the neighborhoods throughout the Stone Oak system.  This may prove to be the more challenging issue to solve.  Many of the committee members were more concerned about the current problems with high pressure in some neighborhoods and low pressure in others.  Some of the problems exist within the same neighborhoods and only a few streets away.   The committee would like to gather specific information on the locations and specific problems with water pressure in each neighborhood.   These issues can be reported to your area representative and  then will be forwarded to the BexarMet engineers to review. 

Committee chair, Joe Silman, suggested that the committee should monitor the progress by the next scheduled meeting in April.  By then, some of the plans Carter Burgess will put in place will have had  time to be implemented. One such project is the ground storage tank at Canyon Golf.  A forty foot ground storage tank is proposed to  be built in place of the originally proposed 140 foot elevated storage tank.  The GST  helps to  maintain water capacity, supply and equalized pressure and ties into to the main system to feed exisiting,  as well as,  new neighborhoods under construction in the north part of Stone Oak.   According to the timetable documents distributed at the meeting, the completion date for this tank is August 31st.  However, before anything is built, committee members who represeent the adjoining neighborhoods around the tank location,  asked  to see  the tank's plans and elevation designs. 

Nevertheless, June 30th is now just 90 days a away, and the heat and arrid conditions of South Texas will surely return to put more demands on the already constrained water supply system.