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What Developers Need To Know About Senate Bill 1796

In Texas, effluent (treated sewage water) is usually disposed of one of two ways: it is either spread out over the ground in what is referred to as land application or it is discharged into a stream or creek. Senate Bill 1796 intends to make the latter illegal in the Edwards Aquifer Refresh Zone of Central Texas, which would have repercussions for developers.

The Pros And Cons

An article from KUT states that the bill is currently being reviewed by the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs Committee.

Opponents of the bill argue that this is a no-growth bill. The change could be cost-prohibitive for developers. In order to dispose of wastewater through land application, land is necessary. Particularly in Central Texas, that land is expensive. Disposing of wastewater in streams and creeks is more cost-effective.

Supporters of the bill, who want to protect the aquifer from wastewater, state that the bill includes provisions that would make land application cheaper. If the bill passes, developers who can show that they will use the wastewater elsewhere, in irrigation for example, may not be required to have as much acreage for land application.

Regardless of whether or not the bill passes, developers can benefit from teaming with an experienced attorney who understands regulations related to wastewater disposal, permitting and more. An experienced real estate attorney can provide guidance through planning and acquisition to construction and development to property management. 

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