Research underway to help track pollutants in the Edwards aquifer

Research underway to help track pollutants in the Edwards aquifer

  • December 29, 2018
  • News

Jessica Quintanilla, a hydrologist for the Edwards Aquifer Authority, sloshes back onto shore in her black waterproof boots from the middle of this creek just off Scenic Loop Road, south of Grey Forest. “Next, we have to set up the peristaltic pump,” she said, as she inserts the white, quarter-inch tube she dragged 15 feet back to shore from her water sensor, before flipping on a generator and starting the pump. Quintanilla and a Southwest Research Institute scientist start pumping…

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Worries grow after quarry cited for discharge violations

Worries grow after quarry cited for discharge violations

Violations stemming from two separate discharges of sedimentary debris into Onion Creek in 2016 and 2017 led to citations for the Hays Quarry Rock Crushing Plant, according to a Barton Publications investigation. The investigation came after video and photo evidence of the discharge was submitted to the Hays Free Press and News-Dispatch, sparking outcry from local residents. The quarry, located south of RM 967 and west of the Ruby Ranch subdivision, was found to be in violation of sediment discharge…

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As we grow, streams and rivers need TLC

As we grow, streams and rivers need TLC

  • December 4, 2018
  • News

There were four of five things going on in town last Thursday that I wanted to attend. Typical night in the busy ’Burg, huh? One of them I had to let pass was a forum at Schreiner University dealing with water pollution sponsored by the Hill Country Alliance. Fortunately, Texas Public Radio recorded and archived the talk, which can be found at www.tpr.org/post/balancing-population-growth-and-healthy-rivers-texas. Ann Rogers Harrison, water quality program leader with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, served as moderator. Panelists…

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State judge sides with Dripping Springs in wastewater permit hearing

State judge sides with Dripping Springs in wastewater permit hearing

  • November 29, 2018
  • News

The city of Dripping Springs will proceed with its wastewater permit application after a state judge sided with the city on all 12 issues raised by Save Our Springs Alliance—an Austin-area environmental nonprofit. The State Office of Administrative Hearings conducted the contested case hearing and concluded that the city’s application for a wastewater permit should be granted, according to a Nov. 26 news release. The ruling concluded that the draft permit: • Contains provisions to protect wildlife in the area…

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Will sewage treatment plants spoil the Hill Country?

Will sewage treatment plants spoil the Hill Country?

  • November 27, 2018
  • News

The picturesque town of Blanco; a planned Christian recreational adventure camp in Bandera County; a Kerr County alcohol and drug addiction rehabilitation center hoping to treat more patients; a proposed subdivision in Comal County, just upstream of a state natural area — all these corners of the Hill Country, and others, have proposed building sewage treatment plants. In each case, downstream neighbors have organized, determined to thwart, limit or transform the proposals as they worry that nutrientrich effluent will lead…

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Making the connection: Watersheds and our water supplies

Making the connection: Watersheds and our water supplies

  • November 27, 2018
  • News

The heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding Central Texas faced a few weeks ago broke records and served as an important reminder about the connection between land and water. After experiencing one of the wettest Septembers on the state’s record, followed by catastrophic flooding from the Llano River, Lake Travis — designed to hold back floodwaters for the City of Austin and its downstream communities — reached its highest level since 1997, forcing the Lower Colorado River Authority to open four floodgates…

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Texas Stream Team trains 10,000th citizen scientist; lands TCEQ grant to support water monitoring

Texas Stream Team trains 10,000th citizen scientist; lands TCEQ grant to support water monitoring

  • November 14, 2018
  • News

Texas Stream Team, part of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, has been awarded a $427,000 grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to expand the program’s citizen science efforts and education across Texas. Texas Stream Team is a citizen scientist water quality monitoring program that is administered through a cooperative partnership between The Meadows Center, TCEQ and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program is dedicated to understanding and protecting the…

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Private well water screening set for Nov. 6 in Llano

Private well water screening set for Nov. 6 in Llano

LLANO —The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water well screening Nov. 6 in Llano to give area residents the opportunity to have their well water screened. The screening will be from 8:30–10 a.m. Nov. 6 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Llano County, 1447 E. State Highway 71, Unit E. It is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute in partnership with the AgriLife Extension office in Llano County. A meeting explaining screening results and…

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Texas’ water quality challenge and the need for better communication in an era of increasing water quality contamination events

Texas’ water quality challenge and the need for better communication in an era of increasing water quality contamination events

  • October 25, 2018
  • News

As Texas cities experience an increase in incidents associated with water quality contamination, the need for public education and engagement increases. The discussion in this paper identifies, based on publicly available data, three of the most common incidents in Texas related to drinking water and environmental contamination: boil water notices (BWNs), sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), and lead in drinking water. Trends observed from 2011 to 2016 indicate a sharp upward increase in the incidents of such events. Increased frequency of…

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Meeting set on Tarpley wastewater plan

  • October 25, 2018
  • News

Landowners near a Christian summer camp planned in the Tarpley area have scheduled an organizational meeting to examine the camp’s plans to dump 49,000 gallons a day of treated wastewater into an area creek and to decide if a more environmentally sound treatment plan should be pursued. Margo Denke, who lives about a mile and a half downstream from the domestic wastewater treatment facility proposed by RR 417 LLC for the camp, said the project has generated a lot of…

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