Changes At Wastewater Treatment Plant Bring S. Braeswood Residents To West U. Council Meeting
Several S. Braeswood-area residents showed up at Monday night’s West U. City Council meeting concerned with changes the city has made to the city’s wastewater treatment plant located along the bayou.
As part of ongoing improvement projects within the city, as well as suggestions and regulations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Homeland Security, city staff has removed decades worth of vegetation from around the plant and replaced the fence.
Public Works Director Chris Peifer says the vegetation – which had grown through the fence surrounding the plant – has been used several times as a “mounting platform” for burglars who have stolen computers and other equipment from the facility.
Residents who live in the areas around the plant say the changes have caused light and visual pollution, as well as exacerbated the smell of the plant, and some are worried about their property values. Some residents said the plant wasn’t obvious until the vegetation was removed, and now is an eyesore to the community.
Peifer says the city plans to plant mature bushes and Live Oak trees to replace the vegetation, although the landscaping will be planted inside the fence line to comply with regulations. Peifer says the planting should begin within the next couple of weeks and be complete by the end of July. He has agreed to work area homeowners associations to ensure that the new landscaping solves the problems noted.
New vegetation should help decrease odors from the plant, and the city has plans to replace the Belt Press and upgrade the aeration process, which should decrease odors as well, said Peifer.
City Manager Michael Ross said the city would look into the light pollution issue, exploring options such as making the lights at the facility more “directional to the site.” Ross also said that the site, located in Houston, will be treated just as any site within West U. would be.