WTP4 workers drill into Edwards Aquifer
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Construction of Water Treatment Plant Number Four and the Jollyville Transmission Line has hit a snag.
Workers drilling a vertical shaft ran into the Edwards Aquifer, which was not unexpected, but now they have prevent water from the aquifer from seeping into the shaft.
Upon inspection of the shaft, the dark color on the steel support panels shows moisture from the leaking aquifer.
Over 100 feet to the bottom, one puddle is all that has been collected, but the aquifer continues to show a loss.
"What we are seeing is instead of the water level rising back to its original level, we're seeing a very, very slow continued decline," City of Austin Environmental Officer Chuck Lesinik said.
The overall water loss is unknown, and experts can't say yet if this is a serious problem. About two to three hundredths of a foot of water is being lost per day.
They do hope over time, the water loss will stop and the aquifer's levels will return to where they belong.
Experts say they are also paying attention to the aquifer levels through monitoring devices.
City officials say protecting the environment in and around the $500 million project is a top priority for project supervisors.
"We're taking a very conservative approach and really looking at it closely to determine whether or not we have a problem, and if there is a problem, if there something that the project needs to do to address it," Lesinik said
The Executive Director for the Save Our Springs Alliance told YNN Thursday that, given the extended drought Central Texas is experiencing, any water loss is significant water loss.
The overall project is expected to be finished by 2014.