Hays County Homeowners and Private Well Drilling

By on March 2, 2015. Posted in , .

 

As eco-friendly as Texas is, it’s no surprise that having well water in your backyard is more common than you would think. Many houses in our sister county of Hays, use well water. For those that are not familiar with well water – it comes from ground water and isn’t subject to the chlorination process of traditional city water. There are several benefits to using well water, and getting a well water system set up is relatively inexpensive and easy to achieve. The process of filtering and cleaning water uses a significant amount of energy and creates pollution. Using well water is good for the environment – cutting down pollution that is put back into the air since the filtration process is smaller scale and relies less on large machinery.

So it’s no surprise that homeowners surviving off well water in Hays County are worried that their faucets could stop flowing due to private well drilling company, Electro Purification.  

The controversy has spurred residents into action all over the county, but especially in the Rolling Oaks subdivision, a neighborhood of about 300 families just a few miles from the proposed well fields. Signs that read “Save Our Wells” and “Stop the Water Grab” are planted in many front yards.

EP has offered a “mitigation plan” of sorts, which could involve paying well owners to lower their pumps if the project causes their water supplies to dry up. And the city of Buda, which hopes to buy 20 percent of the EP water, has promised to be a part of that. But how much that will cost is impossible to know, because even EP acknowledges that the impacts of pumping are still unknown.

There’s a much larger problem that needs to be addressed: growth occurring outside the jurisdiction of cities. The new subdivisions that EP wants to sell water to, for instance, aren’t under the jurisdiction of Hays County or any nearby cities. So no one has any real authority to make sure growth proceeds prudently.

Understandably, this issue has caused many Hays residents to express their anger and thoughts and hope that this will be resolved fairly.

Electro Purification has been reached out to, but the company has not yet responded.

Public officials will be discussing the drilling at three meetings this week:
9:30 a.m. Tuesday: Hays County Commission, Hays County Courthouse
6:30 p.m. Tuesday: Buda City Council, Buda City Hall
6 p.m. Wednesday: Wimberley Community Center

 

Sources: Texas TribuneKVUE and Austin Monitor.