Water Haulers Looking for New Water Sources to Save Trees

- A day after stage five water restrictions are set in Wichita Falls, one industry that makes a living off of water is starting to worry about how they will keep the tap open on their business.

At Tuesday's city council meeting, one water hauler voiced his frustration with the city's plans to cut off the affluent water they sell to haulers from the River Road Waste Water plant starting May 1st.

The water currently being sold to the haulers will be put into the water reuse project when it gets up and running. That's the reason, according to the city, for the May 1st cutoff.

Trucks lined up one after the other, all waiting to pick up their load, water. For just 2 dollars and fifty cents, they get one thousand gallons of affluent water, enough to fill this hauler's tank.

And this pit stop to pick up water is not his first or last of the day, several make 7 to 8 trips a day to refill their tanks, but that will soon come to an end.

“That is gonna make the customers, especially in the country club edition that I deliver to the residents very upset because they have so much money invested in their landscaping,” says Water Hauler Clint Gibson.

The water at River Road is being cut off because it is needed for the emergency water reuse project, but many haulers say right now their customers feel their landscape investment is worth saving.

“We've had several complaints from customers about that water being cut off, you know. They're asking what our next resource is gonna be," says Water Hauler Ruben Rincon.

And some haulers say their options for another resource are slim. 

“We're looking into unsalted wells mainly so we can keep watering the plants,” says Water Hauler Clayton Baxter.

For now they're all overflowing with business, and they'll keep lining up to fill their tanks, at least until their source runs dry.

Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Schreiber says after they run the reuse project for a few weeks, they may be able to capture what's left that would other wise go down the Wichita River.  It may be a source once again for the water haulers and contractors.

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