Round Rock urging people to stay out of Brushy Creek

The City of Round Rock is urging people to stay out of Brushy Creek.

The city reported an issue with their water treatment plant, and it’s had a direct impact on the creek.
According to the city, the flow of wastewater heading into the plant has exceeded more than what it can handle. This has caused the plant to dump more sludge into the creek as it struggles to keep up.

The one scenic view along Brushy Creek is now covered up in murky sludge and a harsh oder. "I’m not going to play in it or ride in it if it’s polluted," said Marykay Breckinridge who lives near the creek. 

Marykay and Charles Breckinridge road their bikes near the creek Thursday when the water drew their attention. "We weren’t sure if this is normal, but it was a little off-putting, the aroma there," said Charles.

As the issue continued to flow into the creek the city had to place signs throughout the area urging people to stay out of the creek as they test it for contamination. 

The city reports the levels of E. coli in the creek is too high to be in compliance with the state. So far, the only areas of the creek impacted are the section downstream of the plant on the east side of the city.

On Thursday the city gave an update to where they are at. "It’s disappointing to me, but we will get brushy creek back to where it needs to be," said Micheal Thane the Round Rock Utility director.

The main issue the city is dealing with is why the plant is seeing such a big increase in wastewater. Their current theory is there must be a break somewhere in the pipes leading to the plant. 

A third-party company was hired to investigate this week.

To ease the burden on the current plant, the city has brought an older one back online, as well as using pumps at the current plant to reduce the amount of wastewater coming in.

Following the update during the city council meeting, no estimated time was given on when the issue would be fixed, leaving those who live along the creek like the Breckinridges to wonder if they’ll ever get to see it how it was before. 

"I’d Like to see it clear and sparkling, so some people can go fishing or kayak on it."

As a part of the city’s growth plan, they’ve already been in works with building another treatment plant, it is expected to be partially operational this summer and completed by next year. 

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