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Public Weighs in on Bulverde Wastewater Discharge Permit

The map shows the different Bulverde-area land tracts and sewage-treatment plants that are either operational or currently under construction. Image courtey of Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance.

Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. tonight on a proposed wastewater discharge permit for Indian Creek (Goldsmith Tract) in Bulverde.

The meeting is at Rahe Bulverde Elementary School Cafeteria, 1715 East Amman Road, Bulverde.

If approved, the permit would allow a local developer to discharge up to 300,000 gallons per day of treated sewage into Indian Creek, a tributary of Cibolo Creek, which recharges the Edwards Aquifer.

The Edwards Aquifer suppplies drinking water to 1.7 million Central Texas residents.

The permit application for the Goldsmith Tract is just one of many multiple developers in the Bulverde area have filed for wastewater discharge, which Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) said it believes would degrade the water quality of local streams and Edwards and Trinity aquifer wells and springs.

The hearing was requested by citizens and also by Canyon Lake’s Texas State Rep. Kyle Biedermann, house district 73.

“We have also been helping residents get answers regarding the proposed project, and will continue to do so, said Bryan Benway, Rep. Biedermann’s district director.

Annalisa Peace, executive director of the GEAA, told mycanyonlake.com in January that her organization believes the practice of discharging sewage effluent into waterways that reharge the Edwards Aquifer “is a filthy practice that should be prohibited.”

“We are especially concerned by the prospect of negative cumulative impacts posted by the proliferation (of) direct discharge permits for new residential development in the Texas Hill Country that might pollute our streams, rivers, wells and springs.”

The 1,000-home Johnson Ranch development, located several miles downstream from Indian Creek Ranch, has applied for a permit that would add 350,000 gallons per day of treated sewage into Cibolo Creek. MyCanyonLake.com reached out to Johnson Ranch developers in January but received no response.

A few miles to the north, Silesia Properties has applied for a permit to release up to 500,000 gallons per day of treated sewage into Honey Creek, which flows through a Honey Creek State Natural Area and into the Guadalupe River.

According to Peace, TCEQ permits dumping of treated sewage effluent into area creeks as long as it meets “fairly lax water quality standards.”

The total permitted amount of treated sewage discharges in the Bulverde area could exceed 2.7 million gallons per day.


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