Victoria officials, Union Carbide to discuss river use
Feb. 16, 2014 at 3:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 15, 2014 at 8:16 p.m.
IF YOU GO
• Victoria City Council
• 5 p.m. Tuesday
• Victoria Council Chambers, 107 W. Juan Linn St.
• City Manager report on the traffic signal timing analysis and the TxDOT 2012 Saturation Counts
• Award contract for bathroom renovation at 700 Main Center to Jung Tile Services for $25,535
• Discussion on construction standards for residential streets
Anyone relying on a river for drinking water knows to pay attention to what's happening up stream.
During the drought, while Victoria officials have maintained city residents' water by replacing what is taken out of the river with groundwater, industries downstream were watching, Union Carbide in particular.
Jerry James, director of the city's intergovernmental relations department, said the company was concerned that the city's groundwater exchange was increasing silica levels, and impacting their boilers.
James said the city is "not the cause of their problems."
If Victoria City Council approves an agreement Tuesday with the company, which outlines how much chloride, alkalinity, sodium and silica, the city can return to the river, Union Carbide will drop a protest on two of the city's water permits, and clear the way for Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to approve them.
James said the permits allow the city access to more water.
The city is permitted to pull 27,000 acre feet of water from the river each year, including the water from the two permits, but uses about 10,000 annually, he said.
With an additional 11,000 acre feet of groundwater, James said the city is prepared for drought and economic development.
City Councilman Tom Halepaska called the agreement a "mutual solution" between Union Carbide and the city.
The city already tests river water to see if the groundwater exchange is impacting it, which is important to TCEQ and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.