Sign the Petition!
Protect our Blanco River from the release of 1.6 million gallons a day of treated wastewater!
The image above demonstrates what has happened to creeks in the Hill Country that have been discharged into.
This draft permit threatens the Edwards Aquifer, the Trinity Aquifer, Barton Springs, the San Marcos Springs, and water wells in the Texas Hill Country.
We the undersigned express our opposition to the City of Blanco’s request to discharge 1.6 million gallons of treated effluent into the Blanco River, which provides drinking water, recreation, and freshwater habitats for native Texas fish and wildlife.
The proposed discharge permit will add pollution to the Blanco River, which provides essential, clean recharge water for the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers - the primary sources of drinking water supplies for more than 3 million residents of Central and South Central Texas. The Edwards Aquifer and its Great Springs – Comal Springs, San Marcos Springs, and Barton Springs —support a major tourism economy and are much loved by Texans from across the state. This discharge proposal threatens these irreplaceable natural waters, the beautiful creeks and rivers that replenish their flows, and state and local parks located along these interconnected waterways.
We encourage the City of Blanco to adopt One Water practices and explore alternatives to direct discharge of treated wastewater, including land application and beneficial reuse, and to serve as a model for other Hill Country communities as they grow.
Treated wastewater (effluent) contains high levels of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) which cause algae blooms. These algae blooms are unsightly and through decomposition take up oxygen in the water. The waterway may lose oxygen, causing fish and other aquatic life to perish. Algae also restricts light moving into the lower portions of the river, altering habitat and reducing biodiversity.
The Blanco River is cherished and loved by the citizens of Blanco and all who live downstream. During times of drought when water levels are low, the River's water will be mostly effluent. Increased nutrients, like nitrogen, from the effluent could pose serious health risks to people and wildlife alike. At high levels, nitrogen is unsafe in drinking water, as it restricts the transport of oxygen in the blood which is especially dangerous for babies, children, the elderly, and young livestock.
In Liberty Hill on the South San Gabriel River, a TCEQ report released in early July, said that investigators had found mats of algae growing on wastewater sludge both 60 feet upstream of where the treatment plant discharges treated wastewater into the river and 3.6 miles downstream from that point.
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