Wimberley and Woodcreek residents received an informative red, white and blue printout concerning the Wimberley Wastewater Plant Proposal in the mail this past weekend, an effort by the Wimberley Central Improvement Area (WCIA) to educate and inform residents about the proposed plant, as well as challenge myths and misinformation about the project. Below we’ve provided the printout’s full contents, along with links to various articles and resources to help you make an informed decision about this important matter.
Wimberley, we’re almost home.
After years of effort to overcome Wimberley’s most embarrassing and potentially damaging problem, a solution is in our grasp, a great water treatment plant that will:
- Eliminate the septic systems polluting Cypress Creek and the Blanco river to an unsafe level
- Provide clean, recycled water for irrigating our internationally recognized Blue Hole Park
- Allow our businesses on the beloved Square to provide clean restrooms for their employees, residents, and visitors, and provide downtown irrigation
- Reduce use of aquifer water
But we aren’t there yet.
By spreading fear and misinformation, vested interests have influenced well-meaning citizens to oppose the widely approved plan. Claiming they just want a “perfect” plant, they could force Wimberley citizens to pay an exorbitant property tax or turn their wastewater over to Aqua Texas or to State or Federal control.
Myth: The plant has a discharge permit so it will constantly discharge effluent into our streams.
Fact: Texas has only two kinds of wastewater plant permits, no discharge and discharge. A discharge permit does not mean a plant will use discharge. Our plant was specifically designed to allow discharge only in specific, rare emergency situations.
Myth: The plant will discharge 75,000 gallons of effluent a day.
Fact: The Wimberley plant is designed and intended for beneficial reuse of Type 1, safe, cleaned water; to discharge it would be to defeat a major reason the plant was built. We need and have many good uses for that cleaned water. It would be foolish to waste it in discharge.
Myth: A no discharge plant would be just a little more expensive.
Fact: This one is not just wrong, it’s absurd. The cost of a no discharge plant would greatly increase the cost of the plant (up to $9-12 million), PLUS require the purchase of prohibitively expensive additional acreage for water retention, putting it far out of Wimberley’s reach without a heavy ad valorem (property value) tax no one wants.
Myth: If the city’s current wastewater plant plan fails, Aqua Texas will get the contract to “take care of us.”
Fact: Unfortunately, that is a fact. Ask any Woodcreek resident how we’d like that. It would cost us more that the proposed plan, and we’d see Aqua Texas convert our wastewater to the Type 2, low-quality, smelly, no-human-contact stuff that they currently spray on the Woodcreek golf course at night, just a few feet from Cypress Creek.
Myth: Any discharge, no matter how small or infrequent, will pollute the Blanco.
Fact: By design, the only time the plant would discharge would be in extreme flooding conditions, when local streams, including the Blanco, are gorged with polluted run-off water from farms, ranches, roadways and worse. The relatively small amount of water discharged, if necessary, would be Type 1 (safe for human, animal and food-plant contact) and thus cleaner than the flood waters. There’s really no choice. We can go from bad to worse, or have a great, modern plant of which we can be proud. Please join us and support the Wimberley City Council in creating a better future for Wimberley. Thank you.
- FAQ: Wimberley Wastewater Project (PDF)
- Memorandum (PDF) from The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State Univeristy, San Marcos
- Statement by the Blanco River Cypress Creek Water Association (PDF)
- Wastewater Project (CityOfWimberley.com)
Thumbnail photo by Cherry Beam via Flickr Creative Commons