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Happy Hour – Threat of Wastewater Discharges to the Hill Country
January 13 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Hosted by the Save Barton Creek Association –
Join us on January 13 for happy hour with Raymond Slade, for a compelling and informative presentation from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at The Tavern on W 12th street. Stay tuned after the presentation as Kelly Davis of the Save Our Springs Alliance will be giving us a quick update on the current proposed plans to expand Mopac.
Before retiring, Raymond Slade, Jr. served as a Hydrologist for 33 years with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Texas. He has authored about 200 reports or presentations on the hydrology and water quality of surface and groundwater in Texas, with emphasis on the Edwards aquifer, floods, and droughts.
Since his retirement from the USGS he has been an Adjunct Professor and a self-employed Consulting Hydrologist. He is Certified and Registered as a Professional Hydrologist with the American Institute of Hydrology. Raymond is a member of eight water-resource related professional organizations and has served on about 20 committees related to water-resource planning or management.
He will be presenting to us on the threats of municipal wastewater discharges to the Texas Hill Country water supplies. There has been a recent proliferation of applications for municipal wastewater discharge permits in the Texas Hill Country area. Such discharges are permitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The limits on water quality for such permits are not strict enough to prevent eutrophication and algae in streams—dozens of Hill Country streams downstream from wastewater discharges are plagued by massive algae blooms. Additionally, wastewater contains pharmaceuticals and numerous organic chemicals identified as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals which pose a threat to human health.
Total permitted wastewater discharges in the Hill Country represent 303 million gallons per day, a value 9 times greater than the mean flow of Barton Springs. The base flow for many Hill Country streams is dominated by wastewater and much of such flow is lost to groundwater. Therefore, surface-water supplies and water wells are threatened by wastewater discharges.
Finally, records document 31 of 48 Hill Country wastewater facilities to be non compliant as of September 2018. During the past 3 years, 411 permit violations were documented for the four dozen facilities–less than 10 percent of the violations led to formal enforcement actions. The actual number of permit violations is probably much greater than documented because most of the facilities had only a few TCEQ inspections during the past 5 years—one-third of the facilities had only one inspection during that period.
After this informative presentation, our friends at Save Our Springs Alliance will be updating us on the next proposed phase of the Mopac expansion.
Together we’ll learn more about the current wastewater threats to the hill country and get an update on the proposed Mopac expansion! Come hang out with us and learn how we can help! Hope to see you there! RSVP https://www.meetup.com/Save-Barton-Creek-Association/events/267235138/