Bulverde residents protest TCEQ permit to dump wastewater into Dry Comal Creek

BULVERDE, Texas – On Thursday night, the state is getting feedback on a plan to dump hundreds of thousands of treated sewage water into a Comal County creek in east Bulverde.

There’s concern that if the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality green lights it, sewage water could enter the Edwards Aquifer and the water we drink.

Erin Bell Altman runs an equestrian center along Dry Comal Creek on the east side of Highway 281.

“I was terrified that we would have an impact on the horses,” Bell Altman said.

When she heard a local landowner had filed an application to the TCEQ to dump 600,000 gallons of treated wastewater daily through the creek, alarm bells went off for her business and her horses.

“We worked hard on developing this land with the horses, and every penny we make goes to it,” Bell Altman said.

Austin Faught with the Comal Creek Neighbors Association said they are not against development in the area, but it should be respectful to its neighbors and the environment, especially because people have wells and animals along the creek.

“We’re right over the Edwards Aquifer, a recharge zone. And so this is a super sensitive area,” Fought said. “I’m not against this development. What I am against is dumping treated wastewater into a creek that affects families immediately downstream of it and against negatively impacting the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.”

SJWTX Inc is listed on the permit application. When KSAT reached out by phone and email, no one was available for comment.

There is a public meeting at 7 p.m. at Smithson Valley High School, and the public is invited to have their say on the project.


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About the Authors

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.

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