Stop the Discharge

Bills would prevent development discharge into aquifer

By Jacob Cottingham, Fri., March 6, 2009

Austin Rep. Valinda Bolton has filed legislation that would prohibit new developments from discharging wastewater into the Barton Springs contributing zone of the Edwards Aquifer. House Bill 1508 comes on the heels of a state regulatory agency's decision to permit a Hays Co. housing development, Belterra, to discharge treated effluent into Bear Creek, which feeds the Barton Springs segment of the Edwards Aquifer. Bolton's office said it doesn't expect stiff opposition to the bill. In related measures, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Rep. David Leibowitz, both of San Antonio, have filed Senate Bill 822 and HB 595, respectively, which would extend the same prohibitions to the San Antonio segment (as well as the Barton Springs segment) of the aquifer. State law bans waste discharges in recharge zones of the aquifer but says nothing of contributing zones.

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