LCRA awards $20,572 grant for new rainwater collection system for Tow VFD - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community LCRA awards $20,572 grant for new rainwater collection system for Tow VFD - LCRA - Energy, Water, Community

LCRA awards $20,572 grant for new rainwater collection system for Tow VFD

Eldorado Fire Station will collect water for firefighting by funneling rainwater off its roof

May 16, 2022

LCRA representatives present a $20,572 grant to the Tow Volunteer Fire Department for a rainwater collection system and storage tank. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Tim Hackney, assistant fire chief; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Nita Capell, VFD supporter; Josh Becker, fire chief; Tammy Pokorny, VFD supporter; Carol Freeman, LCRA Board member; Randy Satterwhite, firefighter; and Susan Patten, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.

LLANO COUNTY, Texas – The Tow Volunteer Fire Department will install a new rainwater collection system and storage tank at the Eldorado Fire Station, thanks to a $20,572 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $5,143 from the department, will allow the Eldorado Fire Station on the northwest side of Lake Buchanan to have a sustainable water source and fill station on-site. “Putting in this tank is going to dramatically increase the amount of water we have available to us,” said Jim Simmons, department secretary and treasurer. “Water is a big issue, and this grant is going to make a whole lot of difference for us.” The system will collect rainfall from the station’s roof, with an anticipated yield of 1,500 gallons per inch of rain. The rainwater collected will reduce both stormwater runoff into Lake Buchanan and the need to pull water from wells and the lake. “We’re talking something like 18,000 gallons of water we can get off our roof in a normal year,” Simmons said. The area the station serves has no fire hydrants. Trucks from the Eldorado Fire Station now have to travel to other stations to fill up. “We have two stations that have water tanks, and right now it’s all gravity fed,” Simmons said. “It takes us 20 to 30 minutes while we are there in order to get our trucks full. If we’re trying to put out a fire, that certainly makes a difference.”    The new system will be equipped with a pump, allowing firefighters to refill trucks more quickly and improve the department’s response time. “It’s huge,” Simmons said. “It is going to take us five to seven minutes to fill our trucks now, so it’s just great.” The department is committed to being an efficient and dependable resource for those it serves. “We are constantly upgrading our stations, upgrading our gear, upgrading our equipment,” Simmons said. “It’s an ongoing process for any volunteer fire department.” The community grant is one of 36 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. Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit

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