Some suppiers who truck in water to fill Texas pools are raising
their rates by as much as 300 percent.
While trucked-in water ordinarily runs 6 cents per gallon or less,
some are charging 14 cents. So it can cost more than $4,000 to fill
even a small residential pool.
As water restrictions continue to tighten in some central and south
Texas municipalities, an increasing number of homeowners are
prohibited from using municipal water sources to fill new
As a result, they’ve come to depend on trucked-in water.
While some trucking companies have held their rates constant,
others have begun price gouging.
“Over the past few months, it’s gotten harder and
harder for me to find a water vendor who’s not charging
incredibly high rates,” said one Austin-area builder who
asked not to be named because he feels he has no choice but to
continue working with these contractors.
The rise in rates began, this builder said, when water restrictions
prohibiting the use of local water for filling pools took effect in
a growing number of cities and smaller municipalities. Whereas many
areas of north Texas have eased off on restrictions in the wake of
spring rains, authorities in the southern portion of the state
continued to increase them. And that’s creating new
opportunities for water-trucking contractors to turn a
But price gouging may not be the only motivation for the rate
“My regular contractor’s price fluctuates based on the
distance he has to drive, and on the municipality he has to
purchase the water from, if it charges a higher rate than another
one does,” said a builder in the San Antonio area, who also
asked to remain anonymous. “But there are plenty of guys out
there with trucks and trailers, just looking to make a quick buck
and move on.”
Indeed, while several water-trucking firms have confirmed that
they’ve raised their rates recently, they cite two main
motivations for the change: Rising fuel costs and a widening area
of demand for their services. These businesses also point out that
they’re making an effort to keep their rates as fair as
possible under the circumstances.