LEANDER, Texas — The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is investigating after getting a complaint about foam and a bleach odor being discharged from the Liberty Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall into the San Gabriel River.

  • Chemicals discharged Thursday
  • Water became foamy
  • Wastewater treatment plant cited last year

"This probably was a process failure. I'd be surprised if it was intentional," Mike Clifford from the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, said.

Clifford was contacted by a resident in the area who noticed foam and smell of chemicals coming from the South Fork San Gabriel River near Leander.

"They do have large stores of chlorine in the wastewater treatment plant. Somehow that find it's way in the path through the treatment plant and down to the river. It's really anybody's guess to why that happened," Clifford said.

Clifford fears the lasting impact to aquatic life and residents in area.

"The river itself has faults and fractures that leak into the aquifer, and so if chlorine is being discharged into the river, it's going to find it's way into the Trinity Aquifer, and it will also eventually find it's way into Edwards Aquifer," he said.

The TQEQ says their investigation is ongoing. The commission has received four complaints since April 2018.

The Liberty Hill Public Works Department did not respond to our request for comment.