City of Dripping Springs progresses with wastewater discharge permit

City of Dripping Springs

City of Dripping Springs

Image description
SWA-08-18-20-1

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.


MOST RECENT

Austin's and Travis County's orders went into place March 25 and require residents to stay home for everything but essential travel. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin looks to lease 3 hotels in $3.6 million coronavirus shelter plan

The hotels are being used for coronavirus patients and members of vulnerable communities who cannot safely isolate on their own.

Projections from University of Texas researchers say continued social distancing is working. (Screenshot courtesy University of Texas at Austin)
UPDATED: UT projections say continued social distancing is working

Coronavirus demand projections released by The University of Texas at Austin on April 6 show that cases in the Austin-Round Rock metropolitan statistical area could vary from 6,000 to 1.7 million based on the effectiveness of social distancing.

Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
5 coronavirus stories Austin-area readers might have missed

Readers might have missed the following five coronavirus-related stories.

Animal adoption, foster numbers up as Austin community comes together to support shelters

Austin animal shelters report increases in animal forster applications, adoptions and intakes.

Passover, a major observance for members of the Jewish community, begins April 8. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many services are being held online. (Courtesy Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston)
Austin’s Jewish community prepares for Passover observance under quarantine

Synagogues and Jewish organizations in Austin have pivoted to offer online Passover Seders to families in lock down ahead.

Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
Austin health officials are tracking 8 clusters of confirmed coronavirus cases

The clusters are groups of coronavirus cases health officials know are related to one another.

A $4.3 billion project to improve I-35 through Central Austin will include a $600 million piece that will be provided by deferring other projects in the area. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
Local political leaders look to free up $600 million for I-35 by potentially waiting on local projects such as Loop 360, RM 620, US 79 and Parmer Lane

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is scheduled to vote April 13 on a list of projects to defer in order to fund an I-35 improvement project.

Minerva, captured here, is an eastern screech owl in Northwest Austin who laid five eggs that are expected to hatch sometime in April. (Courtesy Merlin the Owl)
WATCH HERE: Northwest Austin webcam streaming owlet eggs set to hatch in April

A Northwest Austin resident set up a webcam to capture two owls raise their owlets.

Yesenia and Antonio Morales welcomed their fourth child, Luka, on March 31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pregnancies won't stop in a pandemic, but growing precautions leave expecting mothers uncertain and anxious

As the coronavirus tightens its grip on Austin and much of the world, inevitable human events such as pregnancy and childbirth are having to adapt in the new, cautious and socially distanced reality.

Coronavirus stories readers might have missed from the Austin area

Here are nine stories Austin-area readers might have missed in our previous coverage.

Gregory Fenves will step down as the president of the University of Texas on June 30, according to a letter he wrote April 7 to the UT community. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
University of Texas President Gregory Fenves to leave for Emory University in Atlanta

University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves announced in a letter to the UT community that he will leave the state’s flagship college for Emory University.