Runoff concerns surface from new Dripping Springs development


DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN)– A Dripping Springs resident says she’s concerned that a water break from a new development may be polluting nearby resources.

She took a video over the weekend of the runoff from Headwaters Community, located off of East Highway 290.

“We went out there Thursday, everything looked okay. We went out there Saturday… And discovered the leak,” says David Allen told KXAN over the phone.

Allen is the engineer for the headwaters municipal utility district and is in charge of the water treatment plant.

“The leak was caused by a break in the treated wastewater effluent line, or the line going to the drip fields. It wasn’t raw sewage. It was treated effluent.”

He says the pipes were shut off on Saturday while crews work to repair the pipe Monday.

Allen says once wastewater from the subdivision is treated, it irrigates drip fields nearby.

The viewer told KXAN she was concerned that the runoff was flowing into Little Barton Creek.

“The drip fields themselves are 750 feet from Little Barton Creek,” Allen says.

Little Barton Creek connects to Barton Creek but Allen says he doesn’t think the treated wastewater ever reached the creeks.

He also says it’s not harmful.

“We have what’s called a 210 reuse permit, which means that we can irrigate lands that are suitable for public contact. You can spray this on people’s front yards,” he says.

He says the drip fields operate on and off for about 20 minutes every day, pumping out about 100 gallons per minute.

Allen says no homes were affected.

Faught says although the city has received a few complaints about the leak, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the permitting and enforcement agency for Headwaters.

She says the city oversees things like platting and building permits for Headwaters but the TCEQ oversees operational issues and wastewater treatment for the development.

TCEQ says they have initiated an investigation into the complaint.

Allen says he also alerted TCEQ about the leak Monday morning.

Faught the current leak is in a residential section of Headwaters, which also includes commercial sections.

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