The Boring Company (TBC) attended the TCEQ’s public hearing regarding its permit to dispose 142,000 gallons of wastewater into the Colorado River. During the hearing, a TBC representative explained the tunneling company’s wastewater disposal process to the community.
“We will have less than 3% of the water being industrial water. It’s from one process, a water jet process that uses a water jet to cut materials. And that is treated before it will head to a final treatment. So there will be a primary treatment to where it is ready to head to the final treatment,” explained Rajit Patel, from Gapped Bass LLC.
In July 2022, TBC applied for a permit to dispose treated wastewater and domestic wastewater directly into the Colorado River below Lady Bird Lake/Town Lake. Elon Musk’s tunneling company estimated that a daily average not exceeding 142,500 gallons per day of wastewater would be discharged via surface irrigation through TBC’s 63 acres of private land. The effluent would be released into the Colorado River.
The Boring Company proposed to operate the FM 1209 wastewater treatment facility, which processes water from a “tunnel boring equipment manufacturing and testing facility with on-site residences.” The company’s wastewater would be discharged into Segment No. 1428 of the Colorado River Basin, designated for primary contact recreation, public water supply, and exceptional aquatic life use.
The segment TBC plans to directly release wastewater into is the crux of the matter. Residents voiced concerns about TBC’s wastewater disposal permit application during a recent public meeting. Some Bastrop residents who own farmland near The Boring Company in Texas fear how the treated wastewater will affect food production. The Colorado River is also used as a water source for drinking and baths, so many residents worry about how TBC’s wastewater might affect the Colorado River’s water quality.
“We love the Colorado Rivier,” Bastrop County resident Roxanne told Fox News. “[Elon Musk] will absolutely destroy our love because it will turn to fear.”
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) conducted an antidegradation review before the recent public reading. According to the Tier 1 antidegradation review: “existing water quality uses will not be impaired by this permit action.”