Liberty Hill and Residents Enter Mediation over Wastewater Plans
Terry and Sharon Cassady, whose home is located downstream from a proposed discharge point for the new wastewater plant being built by the city of Liberty Hill, have been granted standing in their lawsuit to prevent the increased discharge volume the new plant will allow. The Cassadys have claimed that the wastewater discharge prevents them from enjoying the river, greatly reducing the value of their home. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which must approve Liberty Hill’s applications to expand the wastewater plant’s operations, have given the Cassadys standing and permitted them to bring their protest to the mediation table.
The city’s plan for a revised wastewater plant would increase the treated water output from its current 1.2 million gallons a day to 4 million gallons a day. The Cassadys claim the wastewater being dumped into the river is not of potable quality, and as a result the river has been fouled and will become even worse if the extra capacity is allowed.
The city is confident it will receive the permit it needs from the TCEQ, but acknowledges that a lawsuit from the Cassadys would delay the plans by a year or more, and thus prefers to seek a mediated solution. The Cassadys have stated they do not object to the higher capacity of the treatment plant. They fear the discharge will not be drinkable-quality water, further ruining the river their property backs up to. They believe the specifications of the new plant are insufficient.