LCRA, Bandera Electric Cooperative Award $8,760 Grant to Pipe Creek VFD

The LCRA Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $2,500 in matching funds from the VFD, will enable the department to buy and install two new 3,400-gallon concrete water storage tanks.
The department currently has two concrete water storage tanks that are both more than 30 years old and in need of repair – one can hold 3,500 gallons and the other 1,500 gallons. The tanks have been leaking since subfreezing temperatures caused them to crack during Winter Storm Uri in 2021, and the freezing temperatures in January of 2024 expanded those cracks to cause more leaking, said Pipe Creek VFD Chief Rory Henrich.
The two current tanks are the only source of water storage the department has for fire suppression in Pipe Creek and surrounding areas, Henrich said. The additional 6,800 gallons of water supply capacity will help keep the public safe by helping the department respond to fires more quickly and efficiently.
“With ongoing drought conditions and more to come, finding alternative water sources is becoming more difficult, and the amount of water some of these fires take to fight is growing,” he said. “The new storage tanks will double what we have. It gives us a little more leeway.”
The department plans to have the older storage tanks repaired if possible, but they would be out of service during that work, Henrich said, making the new tanks essential for firefighting efforts during those fixes.
With the repairs, the department would have a total of 11,800 gallons of water storage capacity for fire suppression. Those resources will be vital amid hot and dry weather and as new residential developments are built in the department’s growing service area.
Henrich noted that with the current water storage system, firefighters can fill their water tender and water transport firetruck less than twice before they have to wait for the well to catch up with more water. In some cases, they have to find a nearby stock tank or pool from which they can fill up their tanks, Henrich said.
“Right now, with a decent-sized grass fire, we have to call on every truck in our area,” Henrich said. “This additional supply will allow us to reduce the assistance we need from our neighboring departments.”
Henrich said the department expects the new tanks to be available in time for the hottest and driest part of the summer.
The community grant is one of 44 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bandera Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at
Posted Monday, May 6, 2024