Northwest Bexar County residents fight to stop wastewater from being dumped near Edwards Aquifer

‘The burden falls on individuals who are going to be impacted’

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – Helotes and Grey Forest residents are asking for more voices to join their cause to stop the legal dumping of millions of gallons of treated wastewater just miles from the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.

Developer Lennar Homes has plans to build nearly 3,000 homes north of Grey Forest. However, much of it is pending the approval of a permit by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Last month, a review of the permit applications met the state and regulatory requirements. Annalisa Peace with the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance says she is disappointed that the permit might still be granted despite the many opposing voices.

“We would hope that they would vote to deny the permit, given the concerns that so many parties have expressed about this project,” she said.

Peace said the release of more than a million gallons of treated wastewater into Helotes Creek could impact the area and drinking water for those near the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers.

“For the City of San Antonio, it’s a huge concern because they want to discharge the wastewater into Helotes Creek, which is a recharge feature, for the Edwards Aquifer,” Peace said.

She said none of those effects have been studied or are known, as it’s too big of a risk to take.

“The burden falls on individuals who are going to be impacted and organizations like ours to raise the money to hire lawyers to fight these permits, which just seems like the TCEQ is not doing the best as they can to protect the citizens of Texas,” Peace said.

The next step is to ask the commission to allow for a contested case. The deadline for a hearing on this request has not been met, nor has a final vote on the permit been taken.

KSAT reached out by email to TCEQ and Lennar Homes for a comment but has not heard back.

Peace is asking anyone who uses water from the Edwards Aquifer to email TCEQ to support their case opposing the permit and asking for a contested case.

Here’s how to submit a comment

Use the associated WQ number; WQ0016171001 electronically here.

Or send a letter to:

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Office of the Chief Clerk, MC105P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.


About the Authors

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.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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