Dripping Springs Wastewater Update
The EPA will allow the town to discharge treated wastewater into Onion Creek
On July 10, Dripping Springs environmental group Protect Our Water announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will lift its interim objections to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's draft permit to allow the city of Dripping Springs to discharge treated wastewater (effluent) into Onion Creek. The EPA lifted its objections subject to a nitrogen limit of 6 milligrams per liter of discharge and dechlorination of the effluent, requirements not part of the initial draft permit. POW considers the changes as improving the permit, but remains opposed to any wastewater discharge into Onion Creek. "Because Dripping Springs' proposed wastewater discharge will still endanger Onion Creek, the Trinity Aquifer and endangered species habitat," said the release, "POW will continue to oppose this permit and encourage Dripping Springs to adopt a 100% beneficial re-use solution." Although officials say they will only use the discharge when other uses (e.g., irrigation) are inadequate, they have not agreed to binding limits. The TCEQ will now respond to public comments and issue a revised permit, and may open a contested case hearing. See "Hold that Wastewater!" March 10.