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Dripping Springs Secures Necessary Permit to Expand Wastewater Treatment Plant
02/28/2019

DRIPPING SPRINGS SECURES NECESSARY PERMIT TO EXPAND WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT
TCEQ Issues Discharge Permit, Allowing City to Address Its Growing Wastewater Needs


DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS – February 28, 2019 – Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) commissioners, on February 27, issued a discharge permit to the City of Dripping Springs, allowing the City to begin the much-needed expansion of its wastewater treatment plant. The City may now move forward with its plans to continue providing for its citizens and to accommodate the rapid residential and commercial growth in the area.

“This is a historic day for the City of Dripping Springs and our community.  We have been at this for more than seven years, but it has all been worth it,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bill Foulds.  “Our responsibility is to care for our citizens and protect our natural resources while planning for the growth that we know is coming.  We could have stayed with traditional treatment options and avoided making tough decisions; that is not what our city is about.  We knew this process would be challenging and would cause legitimate concerns among some stakeholders. But, we’ve worked hard with everyone, and I think the outcome demonstrates that we did our homework and have been willing to compromise along the way.”
 
While a discharge permit is required to expand the treatment plant, the City has always had significant plans for beneficial reuse and has been committed to that goal since day one. In fact, it has been negotiating reuse contracts for years, separate and apart from any settlement talks. It has never intended to discharge.  

“I am so incredibly proud of this City Council, for having the vision and thick skin to move forward with this process.  It was not the most popular decision to request a discharge permit,” said Deputy City Administrator Ginger Faught.  “But, our Council left no stone unturned and vetted our options in every way possible, from environmental and financial to community impact and long-term sustainability.  I truly believe what we are doing here in Dripping Springs will serve as a model for municipalities throughout the state.”

Dripping Springs remains focused on reuse and has signed contracts with various developments in the area to accept essentially all of the treated effluent that will be produced by the city’s wastewater facility. In January the City Council approved a Reuse Agreement with a golf course development in Driftwood that has brought the City’s commitment for reuse in excess of the new agreed-upon allowable maximum of 822,500 gallons per day. For context, the City now produces approximately 130,000 gallons per day; it is anticipated that the proposed expansion will accommodate the City for the next decade.

With today’s permit from the TCEQ, the City now has plans to move into the design and construction phases of the plant expansion, which could take up to two years.

 

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