Arroyo Colorado

December 20, 2012

Hello Arroyo Partners:

The weather has been beautiful for the last several weeks here in the Rio Grande Valley.  I have only had to wear a jacket once over the last couple of months.  The only problem is that we have not received any significant rain for a while and that could spell trouble for the RGV next year.  I am still hoping that we have a very wet January and February. 

I want to inform all of you to a very serious threat to the Arroyo Colorado!

A company called Partners Dewatering (which operates under the name SOS Liquids) has applied to process liquid waste at the City of Rio Hondo’s wastewater treatment facility on North Reynolds. The facility will take septic waste and the waste from grit and grease traps for treatment and disposal. This company has done this process in the city of La Coste (south of San Antonio) and has been cited numerous times by environmental agencies for shoddy management and illegal discharges of pollution into the air and water.

Neighbors in LaCoste have faced awful odors and dramatically reduced property values. At times they have noticed bad tastes in their drinking water, raising concerns about serious water pollution. On at least one occasion, La Coste residents had to boil their water to avoid getting sick after a discharge from the facility. There were also a number of major fish kills where thousands of fish came up dead in a short period, adding to new smell and health problems. The facility had been operated for years by the City of LaCoste and none of the smell or other problems existed under their management—just like the city-operated facility here in Rio Hondo. Partners Dewatering has created problems in other communities, and now they want to come into Rio Hondo.

This company wants to use Rio Hondo’s wastewater treatment plant, built and maintained with our tax dollars, to process toxic industrial wastes, a circumstance which could lead to odors, fishkills, water contamination and health threats. We need our City Commissioners to take a stand for our air, water and community by saying NO to this proposal!

Rio Hondo Area Residents - Have Your Say!
7:00 PM, Thursday, January 17th,2013
Rio Hondo City Hall
121 North Arroyo Blvd.

Public Meeting with the TCEQ and SOS Liquids. This is your opportunity to ask questions and raise issues about the proposal to take commercial liquid wastes to the city's wastewater treatment plant which discharges into the Arroyo Colorado.

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming events:

- Jan. 24, 2013, Workshop for Agricultural Producers to Focus on Low-Cost, High Efficiency Irrigation Techniques Hands-on training in proven strategies for maximizing ag water efficiency while minimizing cost will be held Thursday, January 24, 2013, at the Rio Grande Center for Ag Water Efficiency. The Center is located just south of Harlingen, Texas, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  The workshop – designed specifically for agricultural producers – is offered by the Texas Project for Ag Water Efficiency (Texas AWE), an initiative managed by the Harlingen Irrigation District with funding from the Texas Water Development Board.

- Rio Grande Valley Water Awareness Summit-February 1, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the Brownsville Events Center. The purpose of this summit is to increase public awareness on the appreciation of the value of water in our everyday lives, educate about where it comes from, and the importance of water conservation efforts and how these efforts can make the difference in the short term.  The Summit is being sponsored by Representative Eddie Lucio III, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, Rio Grande Regional Water Authority, and the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council.  Attendance to this summit is free, however, seating is limited. You can RSVP on TCEQ's website.

I have not been fishing for a while.  I have been working on my butterfly gardens, cutting everything back and getting rid of all the woody, overgrown plants.  I retired my old tackle box/backpack.  Well actually, it fell apart so I bought a new one.  I also bought a couple of spools of new fishing line.  I plan on re-spooling all of my reels and getting my new tackle box in order over the holidays.  I can’t wait to get back on the water next year.  I want to wish everyone a very Merry Chirstmas and Happy New Year!

Looking ahead,
Jaime Flores, P.G.