PEACH CREEK tributary of Lake Houston, Texas.
Our purpose is to Restore and Preserve Peach Creek and protect the quality of its water.  There are so many reasons why one should consider becoming part of an organization he or she believes in.  But what could be more compelling than to ensure that future generations can enjoy and safely use this beautiful natural resource.  

We invite you to email us at info@peachcreekpreservationassociation.org . Our members are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the organization and how you can join.
 Click There To View More Pages---->


  February 2010 
Why do we care about sewage treatment plants?

                        ... Because we are downstream!

We at Peach Creek Preservation Association are concerned that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is considering authorizing the discharge of more municipal sewage into Peach Creek just upstream of Lake Houston.  If approved and built, the City of Patton Village's conventional sewage treatment plant would burden the creek with up to 350,000 additional gallons of effluent per day.  Peach Creek is a tributary of Lake Houston and Lake Houston is the source for 75% of our drinking water here in the Houston Area. 
 Why are we concerned?  Well, no one wants to drink human waste no matter how much it is diluted and filtered.  Municipal sewage is also known to contain a wide variety of chemicals that can be harmful to human health.  In fact, municipal sewage is known to contain Endocrine Disruptors, which according to the EPA, are suspected of causing thyroid damage, harm to male and female reproductive health, cancer, and other adverse consequences.   Do you know anyone with cancer, having trouble getting pregnant, or with low thyroid function?  Municipal sewage is already entering the Lake Houston watershed and consequently Houston area drinking water. In fact, EPA sponsored research shows that Endocrine Disruptors from municipal sewage harm downstream fish.  International scientific literature routinely identifies Endocrine Disruptors in municipal sewage as the substances responsible for causing downstream male fish to develop intersex characteristics, meaning that male fish develop both male and female sex tissue.  If these substances are doing this to fish what are they doing to us? Why else is Peach Creek important?  Peach Creek is a beautiful, natural place.  During low flow conditions, Peach Creek is primarily spring water.  In its meandering southern stretches, Peach Creek is the western border of Lake Houston State Park and consequently is heavily used for recreation.  Children play in its waters; adults canoe, kayak, and fish in it.  We don’t want any more of these dangerous substances in our creeks, lakes, and especially our drinking water! The proposed conventional sewage plant will offer limited treatment before discharge, leaving many dangerous substances unaffected.  Alternative treatment processes do exist and according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "are capable of achieving tertiary treatment, cost less to operate than conventional systems, and don't typically require chemicals that are harmful to the environment."  An even better option is sewage treatment with no discharge, which is mandatory practice upstream of Austin to keep effluent out of Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and the other Highland Lakes.  Shouldn't we demand better and safer alternatives here as well?  


We at Peach Creek Preservation Association are notifying you because we want you to help us spread the word about the dangers of sewage in our watershed.  We want to raise these issues with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and persuade them to consider ecologically beneficial alternatives.  We want our Houston area creeks, lakes and water sources as healthy and healthful as possible.  As such we are supporting two area residents’ legal challenge to the City of Patton Village’s proposed conventional sewage treatment plant and discharge (the City of Patton Village’s Application for TPDES Permit No. WQ0014926001 with the TCEQ).  Please join us in supporting this fight: 
         Peach Creek Preservation Association
               P. O. Box 5774
                Kingwood, Texas  77325
****Contested hearing ****

We attended the contested case hearing for the proposed WWTP permit in Austin on March 31 and April 1st, and wanted to share some of the positive and remarkable events we were fortunate enough to witness.   Jim Blackburn and Mac Duson’s arguments were outstanding.  As we watched the proceedings, we felt as thought we were observing history take place.  In addition to being persuasive, they exposed the truth behind the proposed WWTP permit approval.  They also pointed out that many honest people, including a few of the TCEQ experts, felt their hands tied when it came to making decisions, due to political reasons.


The EPA mandates compliance and enforcement of the Clean Water Act.  In their proceedings, TCEQ shows neither concern nor adherence to the previsions regarding our water safety.


The City of Patton Village failed to prove their case (legally they have the burden of proof) with reference to the following issues:


.  Will the proposed discharge impact Peach Creek’s ability to meet TCEQ water quality standards?;


.  Whether the proposed discharge would contribute to excess bacteria in Peach Creek and Lake Houston; and


.  Will the proposed discharge impact the hearing requestors’ use of Peach Creek for recreational purposes?


The closing arguments will be written and presented on May 12, 2010.


The City of Patton Village officials, after the presented arguments, have the opportunity to choose a safer and healthier alternative to the proposed WWTP.  Although the grant they received to build the WWTP is not their own money, we hope that they will make the clear choice of preserving the environment, improving and protecting our health and saving money.  The impact of choosing the alternative will not only affect the wellbeing of future generations but also their image before the entire community by embracing such an innovative and conscientious approach.


We hope the judge in this case, the Honorable Rebecca Smith, has the courage through her ruling to show TCEQ that they are failing to meet the clean water standards required by law.  Moreover, neglecting to protect our water supply and making a mockery of their mission to protect the public health.  The very reason for their existence!


We would like to again thank Amy Swanholm, Assistant Public Interest Counsel, for her attentiveness and contributions on behalf of the public interest; Mary Ellen Whitworth for her testimony on our behalf and Jim Blackburn and Mac Duson for their generosity, extensive research, dedication, wealth of knowledge and commitment to the cause of keeping our drinking water supply safe.


We encourage those of you that share with us the passion for protecting the environment to join our voices in demanding that officials do the right thing.


Amy Swanholm
Assistant Public Interest Counsel
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, MC 103
12100 Park 35 Circle
Austin, Texas 78753


Jim Blackburn / Mac Duson

Blackburn & Carter

4709 Austin Street

Houston, Texas 77004

HomePossible SolutionsCLOSING ARGUMENTS