SOURCE: Influence Opinions

August 31, 2015 18:18 ET

Conservation Society Formed to Protect Historic Community of Driftwood

Group Voices Concern Over Plan to Dump Wastewater in Onion Creek

DRIFTWOOD, TX--(Marketwired - August 31, 2015) - The Driftwood Historical Conservation Society (DHCS) is a new organization dedicated to conserving the natural beauty of the Onion Creek valley, as well as its historic, environmental, and tourism value, for current and future generations in Hays County. As the area continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in Texas, it was clear that mobilization by concerned residents was necessary in order to protect the historical value of this long enduring community from many recent threats.

An immediate project that is of concern to the DHCS regards the proposed disposal of the City of Dripping Springs' wastewater into Onion Creek. There are alternative options being considered by cities in the region -- one involving reuse of the wastewater for irrigation purposes, benefiting local parks, housing developments, and other green spaces.

"DHCS was formed by a group of neighbors who are passionate about protecting a beautiful and important piece of the Texas Hill Country," said DHCS President Shelby Eckols. "Onion Creek is a vital part of this area, and I would like to thank Dripping Springs Mayor Purcell for agreeing to consider alternatives to disposal of the city's wastewater."

"We believe that using that water for irrigation makes good sense both environmentally and aesthetically, and would help protect the natural beauty that attracts people to this area," Eckols said.

Water samples collected by the City of Austin determined that the water in Onion Creek is currently in exceptional condition, making it especially susceptible to the dramatic impacts of added wastewater. Water quality experts predict that phosphates and nitrates in the wastewater would cause a huge and unsightly algae bloom and moss growth. This would potentially impact an 11-mile stretch of Onion Creek, which includes Camp Ben McCulloch, a public access campground where families often go to swim.

Preserving and protecting clear running streams and rivers will be discussed at a regional water-planning symposium on August 31, which will be co-hosted by the cities of Austin and Dripping Springs and attended by government leaders of cities throughout the Hill Country. The participants in the symposium will consider petitioning the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for rules changes reducing the cost of land irrigation systems enabling cities to plan for growth and protect cherished streams and rivers.

About the Driftwood Historical Conservation Society

The Driftwood Historical Conservation Society is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of historic Driftwood. The organization meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Driftwood Community Center and is actively looking for new members. For more information, please visit http://driftwoodhcs.com.

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