Hard decisions

The City of Dripping Springs recently filed an application for a discharge permit with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).   This permit would allow us to expand our wastewater system, which is badly needed, not only to prepare for future development, but also to meet current demand.

As mayor pro tem of the City, I know firsthand the amount of research, planning and deliberation that went into our decision to file.  While I know it has been unpopular with some, I stand by the path we chose to follow.

We recently hosted a community open house to provide updates on the City’s initiatives, including transportation and our comprehensive plan.  Wastewater, of course, was a topic as well.  And, I would say it was the most visited table of the evening – with good reason.  It is already a complex topic that has been further complicated by misinformation.  Our hope was to clear up some of that information, and I think we succeeded.  I welcome anyone that would like to discuss the issue further to contact us.  Please, get the facts.

And, please consider these five key points as we continue to contemplate the wastewater issue.  

First, we welcome your input.  

Second, the growing demand for wastewater capacity is very real.  We deal with it on a daily basis and must tackle it head on.  

Third, strong support for beneficial reuse exists among council and staff.  The City executed a contract with Caliterra, and is in active negotiations with others, to accept treated effluent for reuse at their respective developments.   

Fourth, I believe the long-term solution to our wastewater issue is direct potable reuse (DPR).  This approach would treat and reuse wastewater to supplement drinking water supply, while reducing the need for disposal of treated wastewater. This is also the only option being presented to the community that offers a truly sustainable option for drinking water.

Finally, with that said, I don’t want to mislead anyone.  While our goal is to reuse as much treated wastewater as possible, there will still be times when we will need to discharge.   

Bill Foulds

Mayor-pro tem

City of Dripping Springs

Comment on this Article

About Author

Comments are closed.