Please Vote Yes on SB 1796, HB 3036 and HB 3467
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This year S.B. 1796 / H.B. 3467, and H.B. 3036 were filed to prohibit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) from authorizing the discharge of domestic sewage effluent into any water in the contributing or recharge zones of the San Antonio or Barton Springs segments of the Edwards Aquifer.
The Edwards Aquifer, the primary source of drinking water for almost 2 million Texans, is recharged through rainfall and runoff that enter the aquifer through fractures, caves, sinkholes, and streams within the contributing and recharge zones of the aquifer. Most of the water that recharges the aquifer enters via streams that originate in the contributing zone and subsequently cross the recharge zone (i.e., the Nueces, Frio, Sabinal, Medina, Guadalupe and Blanco Rivers, and the Hondo, Cibolo, Barton, Onion, and San Geronimo Creeks, and their tributaries).
Effluent discharged directly into creeks and waterways that recharge the Edwards enters the Aquifer unfiltered through fractures and sink-holes within the creek beds. Consensus among scientists is that this practice results in eutrophication – an excess of nutrients (such as phosphorus) that end up in creeks, and eventually in groundwater, producing an increase of microorganisms and algae and a depression of oxygen. Such an outcome would be disastrous for the Edwards Aquifer – and the millions of Texans who depend on it as their primary source of water. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey have both acknowledged an increasing presence of pharmaceutical chemicals that have not historically been considered as contaminants in treated water. These emerging contaminants may be toxic or carcinogenic for people at very low concentrations. Emerging contaminants will be present in the treated effluent that TCEQ has allowed to be directly recharged into the Aquifer.
Prohibiting discharge of effluent into contributing zone waterways will help to ensure that the quality of water that Central Texans drink and use every day stays as clean as possible. This bill encourages growth and development that does not unnecessarily harm the most prolific natural resource of Central Texas: the Edwards Aquifer.
We ask Chairman Pickett, Vice Chairman Thompson, and the Members of the House Environmental Regulations Committee to vote to approve these bills for a full vote of the Texas House of Representatives.
- House Environmental Regulations Committee
Texas House Environmental Regulations Committee
- Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs
Texas Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs
- Texas Senate, District 25
Senator Donna Campbell
File Legislation to Prohibit Discharge of Sewage Effluent into Waterways that Recharge the Edwards Aquifer
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