City of Dripping Springs progresses with wastewater discharge permit

City of Dripping Springs

City of Dripping Springs

Image description

The city of Dripping Springs reached a settlement agreement with all but one designated party in its effort to obtain a wastewater discharge permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in early July.

In 2015 the city approached the TCEQ seeking a permit to discharge up to 995,000 gallons of treated effluent per day. Since then, environmental groups, wastewater conservation districts and others have protested the permit. The parties that settled include environmental organizations—Protect Our Water and Save Barton Creek Association—area groundwater conservation districts and area property owners designated party status.

“From the city’s perspective, agreeing to this settlement was not a hard give,” said Dripping Springs Deputy City Administrator Ginger Faught. “We are filing for a discharge permit, but our goal is and always has been 100 percent beneficial reuse of effluent.”

Save Our Springs Alliance—the only protestant that did not join the settlement—is pursuing a contested case hearing with the city.

“Save Our Springs did not feel like the terms of the settlement agreement sufficiently protected Onion Creek, the Trinity and the Barton Springs portion of the Edwards Aquifer,” said Kelly Davis, Save Our Springs Alliance staff attorney.

Davis declined to share specific details of why the organization chose not to settle, as the hearing is ongoing as of Aug. 15.

“We don’t begrudge the other protestants in the case for settling,” she said. “We understand they did what’s in their best interest, but Save Our Springs’ mission is to protect the Edwards Aquifer and the springs that feed into it.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Dripping Springs agreed to reduce its proposed discharge limit, capped the amount of treated effluent into Walnut Springs and Onion Creek, and committed to establish a committee to help the city reach its beneficial reuse goal.

The city of Dripping Springs has been working on plans that would address area growth and expansions for over six years, Faught said. The city evaluated several options to best meet the growing wastewater needs of the community before applying for the permit.

“This settlement puts into the permit what we’ve wanted all along,” Faught said. “This wasn’t something the city conceded to; it was our vision from the beginning.”

By Taylor Jackson Buchanan

Taylor Jackson Buchanan is the editor for the Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She has a bachelor's and master's degree from The University of Texas.


Early voting for the March 3 primary elections began Feb. 18. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Southwest Austin 2020 Primary Election Guide

Find out which candidates will be on Southwest Austin ballots.

State Sen. Kirk Watson announced his resignation from state government Feb. 18. A number of local politicians have expressed interest in the seat.
Who is interested in Kirk Watson’s Senate seat? Here is where local members of the state House stand

State Reps. Gina Hinojosa and Eddie Rodriguez say they are "seriously considering" a run for the District 14 seat.

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz addresses the media on Feb. 20 after announcing plans to resign.
Outgoing Superintendent Paul Cruz says 'work will continue' in Austin ISD as transition plan is developed

A timeline for Cruz's departure has not yet been established by Austin ISD.

Austin taps downtown homeless shelter operator to expand permanent supportive housing program

Experts hold up permanent supportive housing as crucial to ending chronic homelessness.

Gold's Gym now open on South Congress near Slaughter Lane

Gold's Gym opened its new South Austin location in late January.

Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet now open on Stassney Lane

The Texas restaurant chain offers a lunch and dinner buffet.

54th Street Grill is expected to open a South Austin location in 2021. (Courtesy 54th Street Grill)
54th Street Grill planning South Austin location

54th Street Grill will open a South Austin location in 2021.

A photo of young adults creating artwork.
Cordovan Art School & Pottery Parlor to open new location in Southwest Austin

The new art school will open on West Hwy. 290 on March 1.

Velocity Credit Union will break ground on a Dripping Springs location this year

Construction will begin on a new Velocity Credit Union branch this summer.

Fight over sales market data means Travis County home appraisals will not change this year, area schools may suffer

Travis Central Appraisal District will not appraise residential properties this year following a cease-and-desist order from the Austin Board of Realtors prohibiting use of its sales price data.

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz announced his resignation on Feb. 19. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Paul Cruz to resign as Austin ISD superintendent to take job with University of Texas

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz will resign and accepted a position with the University of Texas.

Back to top