A private wastewater treatment facility in Granite Shoals, Texas, is facing state violations, including sludge entering Lake Lyndon B. Johnson.
According to The DailyTrib, an investigation began in the spring, after which the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) notified Aqua Texas Inc., the owner of B&W Gatherings Wastewater Treatment Facility in Granite Shoals, of 11 violations at the facility.
Aqua Texas Communications Manager Donna Alston said the company’s environmental compliance manager, Scot Foltz, was made aware of the citation Sept. 1.
Granite Shoals City Manager Jeff Looney is aware of the violations as well, reported The DailyTrib.
TCEQ was made aware of odors from the facility after vocalized concerns from Granite Shoals residents about the Granite Pointe development during a public hearing May 11, reported The DailyTrib. This resulted in TCEQ investigator Christopher Bost examining the facility.
According to the self-reported effluent data for March 2020, April 2020, and May 2020, the facility exceeded 75% of the permitted daily average flow. The reports for April 2020 and May 2020 revealed the facility exceeded 90% of the permitted daily average flow, reported The DailyTrib.
The investigation also revealed that a sludge blanket in the east clarifier was 12 feet in a 12-foot water depth, and the west clarifier was not processing wastewater at the time of the investigation. There was not enough oxygen in the aeration tank or circulation basin for the bacteria to grow and feed on the organic material, and the clarifier was also full of sludge due to a clogged pipe leading to the digester.
“However, we believe that some of what is cited has to do with the absence of equipment that wasn’t required or part of the design at the time the plant was built,” said Alston, reported The DailyTrib. “We are planning for the complete replacement of the plant in 2023 following the completion of design and permitting at an approximate cost of $650,000. Aqua Texas is committed to providing quality service and is dedicated to maintaining compliance at all of our facilities.”
According to Looney, the city is not responsible for the privately owned plant.