News Feature | September 4, 2017

Development Burdens North Texas Utility, May Lose Permit Next Week

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome
@sarmje

gavel reg new

A north Texas utility may lose its operating permit after violating state codes over 30 times.

“The Trophy Club Municipal Utility District No. 1, which provides water and sewer services for Trophy Club and part of Westlake, is being asked to address 32 violations of state wastewater laws dating back six years that led to $75,000 in fines,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, citing Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) records.

“Now, an administrative hearing is scheduled September 11 in Austin to determine whether the district should get its permit renewed so it can continue handling wastewater for the residential and commercial area along Texas 114, an area that is teeming with growth,” the report said.

The permit grants the utility the ability to discharge nearly 2 million gallons of treated wastewater per day into Lake Grapevine tributaries. The lake is an important recreational area and drinking water source for cities including Dallas.

“District officials say it has already addressed the problems,” the Associated Press reported.

New district general manager John Carman called it "overly dramatic" to say the utility could lose its permit, according to the Star-Telegram.

“He said that TCEQ staff had already prepared a draft permit for Trophy Club before the commission decided there was enough opposition to warrant a hearing,” the report said.

Among the utility’s alleged violations: Spilling 7,000 gallons of sewage into the lake in 2016 because a tree damaged sewage infrastructure.

“Texas Commission on Environmental Quality records show the district was fined $75,000 for the violations,” the AP reported.

Local development has put a burden on the wastewater servicer.

Trophy Club Municipal Utility District No. 1 was formed in 1975 “to provide water and sewer services to then-remote and mostly undeveloped land on the border of southern Denton County and Northeast Tarrant County. Today, that area is home to about 13,500 people in Trophy Club, Westlake and Marshall Creek, many of whom live in upscale residential neighborhoods and continue to get their water and sewer service from the district,” the Star-Telegram reported.

Image credit: "Rumble Press," 3D_Judges_Gavel © 2013, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/