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Q&A's Regarding the South Regional Water Reclamation Plant's Highly Treated Effluent Release

As stated last night, due to unprecedented power outages and weather events, we had highly treated effluent that was released from the South Regional Water Reclamation Plant. To be clear, this was not untreated sewage, but highly treated effluent that was to be used for irrigation on publicly accessible property. 


Here are some additional Q&A’s we’ve received:


How many gallons were released?

We are working with the operator to determine the volume of the unauthorized treated effluent release.  To be clear, the effluent has gone through the full treatment cycle.  This is not raw or partially treated effluent. 


Why do you call this “unauthorized?”

What makes this “unauthorized” is that instead of irrigating the fields at the plant site, the treated effluent has left the site and is on a neighboring property. 


Where was the Discharge Point? Is it Onion Creek?

There was no “discharge point.” The treated effluent was flowing off the city’s permitted site and onto a neighboring property. Effluent is no longer leaving the site (as of approximately 6:00pm last night). The operator was able to redirect effluent to the permitted fields. What has happened is not a direct discharge into Onion Creek. 


Why is this happening?

This is happening due to the unprecedented weather events and power outages that are occurring not only in Dripping Springs but across the state.


Was this a one-time discharge or will there be more over the coming days?

We do not anticipate any further unauthorized releases.


Does this affect drinking water?

This does not have any effect on public drinking water supply.


Public drinking water isn’t affected, but what about private wells?

There’s no reason to believe that this unauthorized treated effluent release will adversely affect private wells.


We will continue to update as needed.  

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