In August, we let you know that the City of Dripping Springs had applied for a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to discharge up to 995,000 gallons of treated sewage into Onion Creek each day. Why would this matter to us, all the way in Austin? Onion Creek flows into the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone and provides much of the water that feeds into Barton Creek and Barton Springs. The concern is that the treated wastewater would contain nitrates and phosphates that could cause unsightly algae blooms and choke off oxygen that fish need to survive.
Today, we have an update. Six local environmental organizations (Save Barton Creek Association, Clean Water Action, Sierra Club, Save Our Springs Alliance, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, and Protect Our Water) have come together to urge the City of Austin and its residents to fight back against the effort to discharge sewage into Onion Creek.
They are calling on Austinites to do three things:
- Tell the TCEQ that you oppose the sewage disposal plan – TCEQ is currently collecting public comments in advance of its November 10th public hearing on the topic
- Tell the City of Austin not to settle with the City of Dripping Springs unless the result is no direct discharge into Onion Creek
“Sewage discharge into Onion Creek is a huge threat to Barton Springs,” said David Foster, state director of Clean Water Action, in a press release. “This is one of the most pressing threats facing the aquifer today. If a settlement is reached that allows direct discharge into Onion Creek it will mean a new paradigm in development in Hays County where developments expect to be allowed to pollute the Creek.” More info>>