Power outage causes spill at regional wastewater treatment plant

Approximately 100,000 gallons discharged into Brushy Creek

At 8:10 p.m. Sunday, June 23, the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in far east Round Rock experienced a failure at an influent lift station, causing more than 100,000 gallons of untreated wastewater to leak into Brushy Creek. The spill, which resulted in fish being killed in the creek, was stopped at 9:40 p.m. Sunday. The cleanup started Monday morning.

The overflow has not affected the public drinking water supply and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has been notified.

The overflow was caused by a power failure in the electronic system that controls pumps at the site as well as the loss of backup power. As a result, all lift station pumps at the plant shut down. The overflow occurred at a manhole just outside a fence near the southeast corner of the plant, which is south of U.S. 79 and west of Red Bud Lane (County Road 122).

The City advises the following precautions:

  • Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within a half-mile of the spill site or within the potentially affected area should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing and tooth brushing. Individuals with private water wells should have their well water tested and disinfected, if necessary, prior to discontinuing distillation or boiling.
  • Persons who purchase water from a public water supply may contact their water supply distributor to determine if the water is safe for personal use.
  • The public should avoid contact with waste material, soil or water in the area potentially affected by the spill.
  • If the public comes into contact with waste material, soil or water potentially affected by the spill, they should bathe and wash clothes thoroughly as soon as possible.

The Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment System is jointly owned and operated by the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park and Austin.

map showing affected area of wastewater spill

Residents who have questions about the spill should contact the Utilities and Environmental Services Department at 512-844-9225

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