DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — A group of neighbors in Dripping Springs are hoping to stop the city from dumping treated wastewater into their local creek.
Thursday night, members of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District held a special meeting to discuss the city’s application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to dump one million gallons of treated wastewater a day into Onion Creek.
Dozens of residents arrived to the meeting frustrated and prepared with statistics to make their case that dumping treated wastewater into Onion Creek would be harmful to their health.
“This process could potentially devastate the water quality and overall health of Onion Creek and more importantly potentially contaminate and pollute not only our immediate drinking water supply, but also for hundreds of well owners and downstream interests in all aquifers concerned,” said Driftwood resident Wes Pitts.
A resolution made by the board of directors of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District also opposes the city’s application to TCEQ. The group claims that by allowing direct discharge of treated effluent from the city of Dripping Springs into Onion Creek that it could potentially enter the recharge zone of the Trinity Aquifer.
“Good neighborliness is what’s called for right now. Okay guys? Please protect our water, that’s your job!” asked area resident Susan Cook.
Those living on the creek say they are the first ones to be impacted followed by the entire city of Dripping Springs. “There are studies linking groundwater and surface water. Dripping Springs actually moved their planned discharge point upstream of the main Dripping Springs wells,” said Driftwood resident Rich Beggs.
Although the majority of the city’s drinking water doesn’t come from Onion Creek, one geologist says it does happen from time to time.
“There is water loss, and at least some of that water in all probability might end up in the Dripping Springs water supply wells, ” said Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District Geologist Alex Broun. “How much, I do not know. How fast, I don’t know. And under what circumstances, I do not know.”
But for those who drink the water, they say even a drop is too much.
“So many of us moved out here to live a quiet, healthy ecological life,” said Cook.
The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District Board did make a resolution Thursday night to delay the approval of the TCEQ permit until more research is done.