1) What is the City seeking a permit for?
Dripping Springs (DS) has applied for a permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to discharge up to 995,000 gallons of treated sewage into Walnut/Onion Creek each day
2) What is our Community’s reaction to the City’s permit request?
Our neighbors downstream to the requested discharge have serious concerns. The following have filed formal public opposition and/or written resolutions.
3) What is the nature of the concerns?
4) Isn’t this Discharge needed for community growth? Isn’t our community ‘at capacity’?
No. Dripping Springs is not 'out of capacity'. There are 1.2M+ gallons/day of wastewater capacity already permitted by TCEQ (5 permits) in our community. We understand the City is seeking to consolidate, but that is different from making an argument that they are 'out of capacity'.
5) But isn’t treated sewage safe?
It can be- but it isn’t in this case.
6) What is the City’s response to these concerns?
The City of Dripping Springs and Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation haven’t provided any science contradicting the connection of surface and groundwater (i.e well impact). Additionally, neither have provided any science contradicting degradation impact of the creek as modeled by City of Austin. These studies can be found on www.protectourwaternow.org
7) Is there a way to avoid any Public Health or other risks?
Yes! And the City could still get its discharge permit – but completely re-use the water.
8) How would storage work?
There is greater risk of discharge entering the aquifer during wet seasons (irrigation not feasible). A storage pond may be created to hold the all effluent during those seasons, rather than discharging it. That pond water could then be reused when dry weather returns. This alone would eliminate any need for discharge.
9) Is Dripping Springs opposed to storage?
No, but to date they have been unwilling to consider a 100% no-discharge solution.
10) How would re-use work?
DS has promoted re-use of water and they have been actively enlisting contracts by developers to take the effluent for irrigation purposes. However, there are approximately 40-60 days/year where irrigation is not feasible due to wet weather/saturation. During these periods the water must either be stored (via pond) or discharged
11) How can I stay informed and get involved?
Join Protect Our Water! POW is a citizen-formed group committed to responsible development and growth. Responsible Growth pays for itself, preserves and protects public health and protects our natural resources. We are making concerted efforts to reach win/win conclusions, but we are also willing pursue all feasible legal options for protecting our community as required. Please join us via our website @ www.protectourwaternow.org . POW has retained technical specialists, legal counsel and intends to monitor this situation well beyond the initial decisions made on this permit. We need your support!
Please also join us November 10, 2016 at 7pm for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Public Meeting at the Dripping Springs Ranch Park, Special Events Venue Room, 1042 Event Center Drive, Dripping Springs, TX 78620
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