New Wastewater Treatment Plant Getting Opposition

Feb. 3, 2004

Some people in Southwest Austin are shocked to learn that a new wastewater treatment plant could soon be built a short distance from their homes.

Now they're scrambling to organize opposition or a least have a voice in the project.

Sycamore Creek is part of the Barton Creek Watershed. Anything that flows into it eventually ends up in the aquifer or in Barton Springs.

Sycamore Creek goes right through the middle of the Travis Country Subdivision where Charles Draper is the Homeowners Association President. Even he was surprised to learn that a wastewater treatment plant was planned upstream and already well into the permit process. He and other homeowners just want some input on the plan.

"We're interested in seeing development out here, but we want to have certain water quality control standards in place to monitor the downstream impact on our neighborhood," Draper said.

Others say the sensitive Barton Creek Watershed is no place for a sewage treatment plant intended to serve high density development.

"We think that the TCEQ needs to address the sensitivity of the land there and the lack of soil there and whether or not such a thing is appropriate at that location. We don't think TCEQ has done that, and we hope that in a contested case hearing we could show that this is an inappropriate place for a re-irrigation field and TCEQ would not issue a final permit for this project and the project would not go forward," Melanie Oberlin with the Save Our Springs Alliance said.

Source: AP