The Hays County Property Owners Fight To “Save Our Wells” Renews

House Bill 3405 expanded the territory of the BSEACD in Hays County to regulate wells of the Trinity Aquifer.

By, Terra Rivers, Managing Editor


Three years ago, Representative Jason Isaac and former Hays County Commissioner Will Conley led the fight to pass House Bill 3405.

The bill brought an unregulated area of the Trinity Aquifer under the jurisdiction of Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and stopped Houston based company, Electro Purification, from pumping five million gallons of water per day.

Previously, the groundwater of the Trinity Aquifer in Hays County was protected by the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District and the BSEACD.

However, EP’s well field was just outside either district’s jurisdiction.

And while the well field was located in the Edwards Aquifer Authority, the EAA only had regulatory authority over the Edwards Aquifer.

House Bill 3405 and Senate Bill 1440 by Senator Donna Campbell, ‘Save Our Wells,’ expanded the territory of the BSEACD in Hays County to regulate wells of the Trinity Aquifer.

In July 2017, Electro Purification submitted an application for wholesale water supply to the BSEACD. The request asked for the rights to pump 2.5 million gallons a day of water from the middle of the Trinity Aquifer.

On May 21, 2018, the District’s General Manager determined the application to be administratively complete and issued its recommendation for issuance of Production Permit.

As required, EP released a public notice in one of the pre-approved area newspapers on June 3 to open the 20-day public comment period.

TESPA announced during a meeting on May 29 that the organization would protect EP’s permit at BSEACD. The organization is asking for landowners, who will be impacted by EP’s well project, to join the contested case.

Concerned landowners in Wimberley and Driftwood attended the meeting at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church to learn what options are available to them to protect their groundwater.

According to TESPA, “BSEACD predicts that pumping from EP’s well field at this rate will cause over 300 feet of drawdown within one year from wells 2 miles away.”

On Monday, June 18, a public information meeting will be held from 6 to 8 PM at the Wimberley Community Center to review the permitting process, permit details and conditions. Public comments on Electro Purification’s Production Permit Application are due June 25.

Comments can be sent by mail to the BSEACD at 1124 Regal Row, Austin, Texas, 78748 or by email to bseacd@bseacd.org.

According to the notice, individuals can also contact EP’s attorney, Edmond McCarthy, at 512-904-2310.


 

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