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CLWSC Buys Texas Country Water Utility, Tells Customers It’s Prepared for Extreme Cold

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CLWSC Buys Texas Country Water Utility, Tells Customers It’s Prepared for Extreme Cold

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CLWSC said it is working diligently to protect its customers from outages caused by severe winter storms like the one in February 2021. File image.

SJWTX Inc., better known locally as Canyon Lake Water Service Company (CLWSC), today said it has closed on the purchase of Texas Country Water Utility (TCW), which owns approximately 100 water-service connections serving around 300 people in Texas Country Estates subdivision at FM 306 and Hoffman Lane.

SJWTX said its acquisition will not affect current customer rates or those of any other CLWSC customers.

This is the 15th acquisition by SJWTX since 2006. Over the past 15 years, the company has tripled in size from 6,500 to nearly 24,000 water and wastewater service connections.

“Our team of local Texas water professionals looks forward to serving our new customers,” said Thomas Hodge, the utility’s president. “SJWTX is continually investing in infrastructure to serve this growing region. Our planned capital budget for our Texas operations is $24.5 million in 2022, with significant investments planned in our water-distribution system to enhance system reliability and water quality and to reduce water lost to leaks.”

SJWTX services approximately 72,000 people through over 24,000 water and wastewater service connections in a service area compromising about 270 square miles in Bandera, Comal, Blanco, Hays, Kendall, Medina and Travis counties.

In a Jan. 19 email to customers, CLWSC outlined exactly how it plans to spend money to protect these customers from cold temperatures like the ones in February 2021 that shut down large chunks of Texas’ power grid.

The company said it has “worked diligently to winterize its water systems” and will take measures not previously deemed necessary for winter in south-central Texas.

In March 2021, SJWTX retained a consulting agency to complete several electrical-engineering assessments on 14 of its most-essential water-supply facilities.

“Those assessments were done to determine the necessary electrical requirements to sustain operations beyond reliance on backup generators during an emergency,” SJWTX said in its email. “Even though generators were at critical production facilities during the storm there was not enough power throughout the entire distribution system to keep water moving to all customers.”

Rolling power outages during the winter storm in February 2021 caused significant damage to pumps and motors at well sites and booster stations throughout the system. SJWTX said it identified critical facilities that needed additional stationary generators.

Those will arrive in 2022, and others will be added in the future.

Separately, the utility said it is working with its power providers for critical-load designation to help decrease the risk of outages altogether.

“Coupled with generators, SJWTX has invested over $20 million in its water infrastructure this year,” SJWTX said. “These projects include the addition of seven water-storage tanks, three booster-pump stations, and the completion of the 1.5-mile interconnection of the newly acquired Clear Water Estates water systems. This interconnect will create bi-directional redundancy that can serve the Clear Water Estates and Triple Peak systems in an emergency.”

SJWTX also is upgrading its customer-notification platform to be more effective in providing regular updates to customers, local leaders, emergency organizations and media.

Its after-hours call center was transitioned to another provider with better nationwide access and a new notification platform.

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