Press Release: Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District – For Immediate Release: July 10, 2020
Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District well owners,
The Kinder Morgan Pipeline Company is constructing a large natural gas pipeline from west to east through central Hays County that will convey 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Permian Basin to the Houston area.
The pipeline will pass directly over terrain that is highly porous and vulnerable to surface contamination. District geologists have spent 20-years surveying faults and recharge features that can act as direct conduits into the same Trinity Aquifer from which you may get your drinking water.
The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District has no authority to regulate pipeline routing or construction, however we are mandated to protect the resource that most of Hays County relies on for clean drinking water. In the interest of public safety, the District has developed an information packet that local well owners may refer in the event of a construction, transmission, or operations accidents.
The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District has 738 registered water wells that fall within 5-miles of the pipeline’s path. We consider those wells to be the most vulnerable to contamination in the event of a construction accident or transmission rupture. Most pipelines operate safely and without incident, but due to a March 2020 Kinder Morgan pipeline accident that occurred in Blanco County, we must take the threat of accidents seriously.
Threats to wells from pipeline construction include silt contamination from right-of-way clearing, pipeline boring, trenching, and/or and construction machinery fuel or hydraulic oil spills. Transmission threats include accidental punctures, pipeline joint failures, and operational accidents that may leak and contaminate land and drinking water sources. If the pipeline catches fire or explodes, fire suppression chemicals may be used to extinguish the flames. Those chemicals could infiltrate our highly porous geology and contribute to groundwater contamination.
Please report pipeline accidents to the Hays County Sherriff’s Department, the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District and Kinder Morgan (see numbers attached). Please report well contamination to the District at (512) 858-9253. We will notify neighboring registered well owners and ask them to report changes in the quality or quantity of their well water.
If you have an unregistered well, please fill out an online well registration form on the Forms page of the District website. And, if you are unsure if your contact information is current, please email the District and we will update you in our well database — free of charge. Remember, property owners with registered wells are more likely to benefit from legal standing in a court of law.
Attached is a list of emergency numbers, testing laboratories, and here is a link to the Kinder Morgan FAQ Sheet.
Download a PDF of this Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District press release here.
Important telephone numbers
PLEASE Call Before You Dig!: 811
Hays County Emergency Services (Fire, Sheriff, Ambulance): 911
Hays County Groundwater Conservation District: (512) 858-9253
Anytime your well has a rapid change in water quality, we will inspect your well, take a water sample and test for contaminants.
Hays County Natural Resources: (512) 393-2156
Kinder Morgan Pipeline hotline: (866) 762-8442
If you believe that a pipeline leak has occurred, please call this Kinder Morgan Pipeline hotline immediately.
Contact: Charlie Flatten, General Manager – Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District
Phone: 512-858-9253 Fax: 512-858-2384