ROUND ROCK, Texas — Every week recently, city officials and neighbors near Brushy Creek receive an email from resident Martin Milner about the creek or the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
"Round Rock has been working hard," Milner said on Monday in a follow-up interview about Brushy Creek's water quality. "They're doing the dead-level best to create this improvement as quickly as they could."
For the past 1.5 years, Milner has done research on the wastewater treatment plant, presented his findings to Round Rock City Council, and kept in regular contact with city officials, county officials and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. While he is thankful the waterway has visibly improved, he said there is still work to be done.
"I got one thing on the list left, and that's let's validate the measurements and then going forward somehow assure us that they're valid – valid measurements and a commitment to operate as one of the better plants in Texas, not just meet the minimum requirements," Milner said.
Milner added that Round Rock's regional plant mostly meets the TCEQ requirements for contaminants in the water. The City notified the public in March when the facility went above permitted levels for E. coli and volume of water.
"They correctly state they have been below limits. So what scares all of us so much is, how could that pollution occur? And yet they're below limits according to the measured data. That's what really bothers me the most, because that's what protects us going forward," Milner added.
Over the past few weeks, the water of Brushy Creek has gone from murky with a visible amount of floating solids to nearly totally clear. Milner said that's significant, positive change, but he wants to see the City make strides in transparency and testing too.
Round Rock first reported problems at the regional wastewater treatment facility March after discovering a dozen leaks in pipes across the system that lead to the treatment plant. Most of those leaks have since been fixed while upgrades continue to take place at the facility.
Before the leaks, the Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant could handle approximately 21 million gallons per day. Earlier this spring, the City brought the Brushy Creek West Wastewater Treatment plant back online to handle an additional 3 million gallons per day. Since then, the City has also brought another 5 million gallons per day because of the upgrade and expansion efforts at the regional facility.
Round Rock also keeps the public updated regarding the issues and fixes at the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant online.
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