New Wastewater Threat to Barton Creek

A new application has been filed with the TCEQ for a permit to discharge sewage effluent to a creek that recharges Barton Springs.  This time, it is Barton Creek that is the target of a permit application by the Sawyer-Cleveland Partnership, LLC, based in Spring, Texas, to discharge up to 92,000 gallons per day near U.S. Hwy 290 and Sawyer Ranch Road, which would flow through a culvert under the highway to a series of detention ponds before being released to Barton Creek.  The treatment plant would serve a residential and commercial development already being built on both sides of U.S. 290 called Long Branch.  The plant is proposed to have very lax permit requirements.  While the new application is for just 10% of the volume to the Dripping Springs discharge application, it is a sign that, unless a ban on direct discharges in the Aquifer Contributing Zone is adopted, there will be more attempts to use the creeks as a dumping ground, regardless of cumulative effects.