HAYS COUNTY, Texas -- Homeowners surviving off well water in Hays County are worried that their faucets could stop flowing due to private well drilling in the area.
Electro Purification, a private company, owns the water rights on two private ranches in Hays County, and documents show the company wants to pump 1.8 billion gallons each year and sell it.
Doc Jones, a representative for Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, said the amount of water Elecro Purification is planning to pump is troublesome. He said it adds up to more than what the Wimberley water utility, Drippings Springs water utility, and private water provider Aqua Texas use annually combined.
Jones called it "mind boggling" to consider that pumping that much water wouldn't impact nearby wells.
"They say that it won't have any impact on the wells. They say that it's a safe level of pumping. That's their opinion," Jones said. "We're concerned about that. We're really concerned about that."
Dan Pickens, who lives in Driftwood, said he knows his home is on a weak well and recently installed an 2,500-gallon storage tank, but he's worried there will soon be no way to fill it up.
"They're going to drain the bathtub, and everybody's straws in the water are going to be above the water level," Pickens said.
Jones said area aquifers are already depleted by growth and drought, but most of them are at least being managed by water districts. However, the section of the Trinity Aquifer where Electro Purification is drilling is not managed by any water conservation district, and therefore not governed by the same rules as other nearby aquifers.
Pickens said he wants to see public pressure to encourage the drillers to be better neighbors.
"It's legal, but it doesn't make it right," Pickens said.
Jones said adjacent water districts are in communication about the issue and deciding how to proceed.
KVUE reached out to Electro Purification, 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