Protect Our Blanco


With no wastewater discharge, the river is healing itself! Photography credit: John Brown for WVWA.

It has been over seven months since the City reported its last Blanco Wastewater Treatment Plant direct discharge into the Blanco River, and the water conditions show it!  Downstream of the discharge point, water quality results show substantially lower nutrient levels and the algae blooms have cleared.

The WVWA and POB have also seen some very positive signs for our anticipated negotiations with the City of Blanco:

    1. This week, our legal team discovered that the City of Blanco wastewater discharge permit has been remanded – that means it is removed from the court’s docket and the draft permit will be sent back to TCEQ for changes!  The City’s filing indicated they plan to make changes to the permit request that may include issuing new notice and starting the TCEQ permit process over again.  This potentially opens up another round of public comments and opportunities to refine the permit details to be more protective of water quality.
    2. In recent months, the city replaced their previous legal counsel and their prior waste water engineering firm. We are hopeful this change signals a lack of confidence in prior recommendations and a shift towards a better direction.
    3. The City FINALLY allowed two POB Board Members to tour the water treatment facility and we have asked that a second tour be scheduled for our consultants to have a firsthand view.
    4. The two new City Council Members – Deda Divine and Mike Smith seem like good advocates for our River.
    5. The Engineering Firm that POB retained has identified millions of dollars in unfunded infrastructure that the City would need in order to utilize their current Wastewater Treatment Center outside the current City Limits.   This adds a very strong incentive for the City to give real consideration to the alternatives we are proposing.
    6. The City has not dumped in the river in over 7 months!

We continue to push for an agreement with the City to eliminate discharge, implement strong irrigation plans/contracts, and establish a better operational plan for the plant.

POB continues to do monthly water quality testing and these reports can be utilized for our negotiations, and if necessary, a Contested Case Hearing or any other lawsuits.

As you can imagine, the cost of consultants and testing are substantial and we are asking that all of our members make a tax deductible donation at www.protectourblanco.org.   If you prefer to send a check, it should be made payable to Protect our Blanco and sent to P O Box 520, Blanco, Texas 78606.  If you have friends and neighbors who care and who can help us financially, please ask them to join this fight.

[Updated 8/7/2020]


Background:

The City of Blanco is requesting a permit from TCEQ to discharge 1.6 million gallons of treated wastewater daily into the Blanco River. Read more about the effects of such a permit below. 

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.   

The WVWA is partners with Protect Our Blanco and are working to 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.

 

Visit Protect Our Blanco’s Website