Residents near Trinity Aquifer warn of pollution, ecological impact amid proposed wastewater plant

Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance to hold meeting to address concerns over wastewater permit

GREY FOREST, Texas – Residents and organizations against constructing a wastewater plant north of Grey Forest are on a crunch to contest their case with the state.

A developer wants to build 3,000 homes on the Guajalote Ranch property, but it would require the construction of a wastewater plant. The treated wastewater would be dumped into Helotes Creek.

Amanda Maloukis, General Manager of the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District (GCD), says there are concerns about how the discharge would impact water quality for those who use the Trinity Aquifer.

There are about 4,000 water well permit holders in the GCD. The district has limited authority to monitor water quality, so they encourage Trinity users to do baseline testing regularly.

“If you own your own personal water well, we encourage those water well owners to get baseline testing to start from there so that they always have that record so that if they even need to test their water quality in the future, they always have that,” she said.

Samuel Galm has a 600-foot well next to Helotes Creek, about a quarter mile from where the wastewater plant would be built.

“This water is mostly in the creek,” Galm, who is worried about losing his well water to pollution said. “It’s like a recharge from (the) springs and stuff that over the years have flowed down. We know that this limestone is so porous that it’s going to, you know, go down there relatively quickly.”

Galm says the discharge of the wastewater could mean increased flooding downstream, and it could impact the creek’s ecology.

“Our major resource is water, and we need to protect it,” he said.

The Trinity Aquifer flows southwest from Grey Forest into the contributing zone of the Edwards Aquifer, according to Maloukis. So, there is a potential that it could also impact the drinking water of the City of San Antonio.

“We need to protect it and not let things get carried out of control,” Galm said. “We’re a year down the road or two years down the road; it is contaminated, and there’s nothing you can do after that. I mean, how do you get that back?”

Residents have until Monday, Feb. 12, to contest the wastewater permit request to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

On Wednesday, the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance is hosting an information meeting for impacted residents and concerned citizens on submitting the requests. The meeting is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 9888 Escondida Road.

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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