Say No to Aqua Texas: Send the Petition to Local Officials
Wimberley should not hire Aqua Texas to manage its wastewater.
Read why below. Then sign the petition to send the message to Mayor Mac McCullough, Wimberley City Council and the Mayor’s Ad Hoc Wastewater Review Committee members.
Wimberley can and should build and manage its own wastewater treatment system.
After years of planning, the city has secured approval from the State to build a central-area sewer system and a state-of-the-art treatment plant, in a remote corner of Blue Hole Regional Park, which will produce Type 1 (suitable for public contact) reusable, valuable wastewater that the city can then use for its own good, including keeping Blue Hole Regional Park a beautiful attraction, as well as saving groundwater.
The State has approved a low-interest loan ($5.5 million) for construction of the system, and the city has made application to the EDA (U.S. Economic Development Administration) for a $1 million grant. The grant, if approved, would not only lower the city’s costs but more importantly the users' costs. That grant could be lost if the city changes the approved plan.
If the city goes with Aqua Texas, it will still have to build pipelines under downtown, the major part of the plan cost and construction. Then pay Aqua Texas rates.
Last week the new Wastewater Review Committee met with Robert Laughman, President of Aqua Texas, which is part of publicly traded Aqua America, to hear him pitch Aqua Texas as a substitute solution to a Wimberley plant.
The committee will make a recommendation to the new City Council near the end of this month. Before they do, members should talk to past and present officials in Kyle Public Works – as we have – about working with Aqua Texas. Kyle severed all ties with Aqua Texas Oct. 1, 2015, after years battling Aqua Texas to clean up numerous spills and environmental infractions, and after both sides sued each other.
The committee should also read pages 96-98 of the 2014 Update to the Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan, to understand Kyle’s decision to buy and run its own treatment plant. The long sad saga of Aqua Texas sewage spills endured by the City of Kyle is a vivid warning of potential financial, environmental and emotional costs if Wimberley chooses Aqua Texas.
Four points to remember:
- At any price, Aqua Texas is an unacceptable business partner for the City of Wimberley. Lawsuits and complaints abound against the parent company, Aqua America, for its sewage spills, rate hikes and poor customer service. Aqua Texas has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau.
- Wimberley’s city engineers have consistently studied and rejected the Aqua Texas option as more costly and less desirable environmentally. It would also mean the loss of a valuable reuse water source for Blue Hole Regional Park.
- Type 1 wastewater is a valuable asset today and is needed right here in Wimberley. There is no such thing anymore as “waste” water, according to local water advocates. Wimberley’s Type 1 excess wastewater will have a commercial value and could be sold.
- Aqua Texas produces Type 2 effluent (not for human contact) instead of Type 1. Type 2 needs dilution with clean aquifer water to reduce the smell. We noted other reasons in an earlier CARDtalk here.
Take action! Read and send the petition to Mayor Mac McCullough, City Council members and members of the Mayor’s Ad Hoc Wastewater Review Committee.
Then share this CARD Call to Action with your friends and neighbors.
- CARD Steering Committee