Raw sewage spilled into Lake Grapevine. What's being done about it?

A utility district that serves a growing area on the Tarrant/Denton County line is at risk of losing its operating permit after being cited for numerous state violations including the release of raw sewage into Lake Grapevine.

The Trophy Club Municipal Utility District No. 1, which provides water and sewer services for Trophy Club and part of Westlake, is being asked to address 32 violations of state wastewater laws dating back six years that led to $75,000 in fines, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality records show.

Now, an administrative hearing is scheduled Sept. 11 in Austin to determine whether the district should get its permit renewed so it can continue handling wastewater for the residential and commercial area along Texas 114, an area that is teeming with growth.

The permit allows the district to discharge about 1.75 million gallons of treated wastewater per day into tributaries of Lake Grapevine — which is a popular recreational area and a source of drinking water for Dallas, Highland Park, University Park and part of Grapevine — as well as for golf course irrigation and ponds.

“It’s just poor management,” said Danny Mayer, a retired Trophy Club resident and former town council member who is among a handful of residents who triggered the administrative hearing by challenging what normally would have been a routine renewal of the district’s permit.

“They are in over their heads,” Mayer said.

But district officials say the violations involved problems that have all been addressed and that the district is doing a good job meeting the needs of the Texas 114 corridor. It’s embarking upon a multimillion-dollar expansion of its wastewater treatment plant to accommodate future growth.

New district general manager John Carman, a former Fort Worth Water Department director who started work in Trophy Club just weeks ago, said in an email that it’s “overly dramatic” to say the Trophy Club district is at risk of losing its permit.

He said that TCEQ staff had already prepared a draft permit for Trophy Club before the commission decided there was enough opposition to warrant a hearing.

Carman and the Trophy Club district board members either declined to comment further, or declined to respond to calls and emails. Those who did respond referred questions to Austin lawyer Anthony Corbett, who specializes in representing utility districts. Corbett was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.

Read more from our media partners at the Star-Telegram 

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