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POW Demands Evidence

That Proposed Wastewater Discharge Will Not Contaminate Wells

Press Release

For Immediate Distribution

DRIPPING SPRINGS, TX September 13, 2016 - Protect Our Water (POW) is demanding scientific and technical evidence from the City of Dripping Springs (City) and the Dripping Springs Water Supply Company (DSWSC) that the City’s proposed discharge of 995,000 gallons per day of wastewater effluent into Onion Creek will not harm drinking water wells.

POW just uncovered two letters the DSWSC wrote to TCEQ in 2001 and 2002, formally protesting a proposed wastewater treatment plant to be located at nearly the same location as the City of Dripping Springs proposed wastewater discharge point, in the Caliterra subdivision. The DSWSC’s protest was based on concerns that wastewater effluent could potentially enter the Middle Trinity Aquifer through Onion Creek and contaminate its wells.

“The (DS)WSC believes that Applicant should be required to more fully document that the wastewater will not permeate into the groundwater…”.

The DSWSC commented further in its request for contested case hearing that

“There is not satisfactory documentation that effluent…will not…overflow into Onion Creek and then migrate into the groundwater…

Any spills… will enter North Onion Creek and may then easily contaminate the groundwater.

“Absent conclusive evidence that there are no direct or indirect connections between the creek and the groundwater in the area, there is no way anyone can be satisfied that the groundwater in the area is not subject to contamination...”

While 15 years ago the DSWSC was concerned about theoretical connection between groundwater and effluent, there is now “strong evidence” that the connection does in fact exist, and the DSWSC wells that provide drinking water to much of the Dripping Springs area and all Dripping Springs school children will be influenced by the proposed wastewater discharge through Onion Creek.

Inexplicably, however, the DSWSC has remained completely silent on the City of Dripping Springs proposed direct wastewater discharge into the same stretch of Onion Creek that it was extremely concerned about pollution in 2001 and 2002.

Because the DSWS has refused to discuss the City’s proposed wastewater discharge in an open meeting and has provided no science that its wells will be protected from wastewater, POW has sent a letter to both the DSWSC and the City of Dripping Springs demanding proof that the community water supply will not be contaminated by wastewater effluent under the City’s discharge proposal.

Jeff Root, a POW Member and future DSWSC customer (purchased residential lot this year in service area) states that “The DSWSC has primary responsibility for providing safe water to our families, our schools and this entire community, and they have refused to take action on this potentially damaging wastewater discharge proposal. We believe they owe a full explanation to their customers on why they were so critically concerned in a prior situation but they now choose to remain silent on what we believe is a far riskier scenario for our growing community.”

About POW.

POW is a citizen’s group organized to protect Onion Creek and local wells from pollution. For more information, see www.protectourwaternow.org. Press contact: Richard Beggs, 512-299-3442, protectourwaternow@gmail.com.

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