Spring Branch residents concerned about wastewater amid new development proposal

Permit needs to be approved before development can more forward

One company wants to dump treated wastewater into a creek that feeds into Canyon Lake. The plan still needs state approval, but it's not sitting well with some in the area. KSAT's Patty Santos heard some residents' concerns at a meeting Thursday in Spring Branch.

SAN ANTONIO – Dozens of Spring Branch residents attended a meeting hosted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) after bringing up concerns about the release of treated wastewater into a creek that feeds into Canyon Lake and the possible development of more than 700 homes.

The meeting at Smithson Valley Middle School on Thursday was to review a permit to release the treated water into Cypress Creek.

Harrison Cole Malley, an attorney with TCEQ, said the permit approval is the first process before the construction of a facility can begin.

“It really is health and safety for the public. Is it environmentally healthy? If it meets those two basic criteria and all, and then if it passes all of our review processes, then it’s deemed to be complying with all the rules and regulations,” Malley said.

He said the comment gathering and community hearing process take time. It could be several months for the approval or rejection to be announced.

It’s the first step in the expected proposal for the development of homes in the Spring Branch community.

The TCEQ has nothing to do with that development proposal. Still, many residents like Nina Asher attended the meeting to show their opposition to the entire plan, starting with the lack of water in the area.

“People’s wells are already running dry. Besides the fact that they’re going to get all this stuff into our water system and pollute our water, even then, they say it’s clean. That’s why I’m here -- to find out more about this, because the traffic, everything,” Asher said.

Tom Buttler lives near the creek where the water would be dumped. He worries about how many neighbors it would impact.

“We just don’t want this type of environment out here. We have a lot of people come out here for the river and the lake and things like that. And it’s a beautiful area, but 718 homes on 169 acres, basically with 31 acre business park is just way too many homes,” Buttler said.

The TCEQ will take the comments regarding the permit and provide answers and review the permit request.

Click here to find out about the permit request and how to submit concerns and comments.

About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.