Update: Ongoing wastewater treatment plant issue in Round Rock

The Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater System Treatment Plant in Round Rock is still receiving increased flows of wastewater. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)
The Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater System Treatment Plant in Round Rock is still receiving increased flows of wastewater. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)

The Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater System Treatment Plant in Round Rock is still receiving increased flows of wastewater. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)

Following the announcement March 4 about the increase of wastewater received by the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater System Treatment Plant, the city continues to see more wastewater than what is permitted in total flows.

The plant is permitted to discharge 21.5 million gallons of wastewater per day. It is still, however, discharging an average of 23 million-24 million gallons of wastewater a day according to Utilities Director Michael Thane.

The city is still working to find out the source of the increased flows of wastewater. Cameras were put into place where interceptors are located to catch where there may be a break within the collection system.

Regionally, the city is inspecting interceptors located in Round Rock, Cedar Park, Austin and Ace Pipe Cleaning, which is a contractor the city brought in from out of town to help with the problem. The city is also inspecting Round Rock’s local collection system, Thane said.

The utilities department has found several defects in the system from the interceptors. Thane said it may be challenging to make repairs in some areas, but the department said they're working to find out the contractors that built some of the systems.



Flow meters will be installed at specific locations to identify usual activity. The utilities department has asked the city of Cedar Park to treat an additional 200 gallons a day in its wastewater treatment plant to help relieve the flows coming into Round Rock’s plant. The city will also use the western treatment plant in downtown Round Rock to take off roughly 1.7 million gallons a day. By this summer, the city is expanding the eastern treatment plant, where much of the additional flow is received, for extra capacity, Thane said.

Warning signs have been placed along Bushy Creek to let residents know to stay out of the creek during this time.

Thane said the city is still working to be in compliance with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as it is still in violation due to the additional flows.

“We are continuing to press forward. I do appreciate our surrounding partners stepping up and asking to help any which way they can,” Thane said. “Our team is continuing to research, and we will not stop until we figure out this problem.”

By Zacharia Washington

Reporter, Austin Metro

Zacharia joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2022 after a year spent working on a community engagement project at the Texas Observer. In Austin Metro, she covers higher education, health, transportation, business and local government. Prior to CI, Zacharia graduated from Huston-Tillotson University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with a concentration in journalism. Zacharia has a passion for journalism, service and the community, and she's honored to work at a place with the same values as her own.