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More opponents line up against Dripping Springs

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by Jo Clifton

The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District have officially joined the fight against a permit that would allow the city of Dripping Springs to dump up to 995,000 gallons per day of treated sewage into Onion Creek in the Texas Hill Country. The two parties were added as the result of a hearing at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality last week. They join the other parties, which include the Save Barton Creek Association, the Save Our Springs Alliance, Protect Our Water and some Dripping Springs landowners, who are challenging the permit. According to a press statement from those parties, the conservation district did a dye study recently that “showed conclusively that what goes into Onion Creek winds up in the local groundwater, with eight different wells showing presence of dye that was added to Onion Creek. This hydrologic communication between Onion Creek and local groundwater, coupled with the fact that Onion Creek recharges 30 percent of Barton Springs, sits at the heart of the case against direct wastewater discharge in the Texas Hill Country. Despite the Barton Springs connection, the City of Austin was denied standing in the case.” Opponents say they expect to TCEQ to hold a final hearing on the permit request within the next six months. After that hearing the agency will decide whether to grant the permit. Dripping Springs has argued that it would not be dumping nearly as much wastewater as the permit would allow since the city is planning to use the wastewater for irrigation.

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