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#11696509 - 06/29/16 06:37 PM What did my fish eat
pelageo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Granbury
Went to the Upper Brazos below Possum Kingdom early this week to take advantage of some decent post-flood flow and a very slight break in the temps. Paddled and walked upstream to the dam for the first time in several trips to that section of river. Parked in the lower half of the pool below the dam and had fun with the white bass for a couple of hours. Biggest one was 14-16". So here I am at majestic PK on a summer morning jerking fish out of the water and then, at about 15 minute intervals, it was like 10,000 people took a collective dump in the dam outflow. Very little doubt as to the primary source of the odor-I expect most of us have been caught downwind of the business end of a sewer system. The odor would hang around for 5 minutes or so (light wind) and, bam, in 15 minutes another dump. I confess the odor didn't drive me from my honey hole. Water was a little frothy but no floating Baby Ruths so I fished until my arm got tired. Don't know that this trip gets me to me hard core river rat but I am working on it.

Thinking from the comfort of home that somebody must monitor such things, I went to the TCEQ website and started investigating surface water quality in that segment (1206) of the Brazos. Found a monitoring station (13696) located at the dam but the last data collected there was in 2008. Appears the closest location monitored on a routine basis is at the Hwy 16 bridge (18748)-last reported monitoring results are dated 5/12/2016. I contacted BRA and asked them who monitored water quality at the dam and if the data were publically available. They gave me a permit number (TPDES Permit WQ0002789000) and pretty much said it was a TCEQ issue. Back to the TCEQ website and queried the permit number. Come to find out, the operator under that permit has active Notices of Violations (NOVs) that date back to 2010. Readily available information on their rap sheet indicates the NOVs are for unathorized discharges and failure to comply with their permit. The latest NOV is dated 3/31/2016 but history indicates they get a new one about every month. Another tidbit they provide is that the violations are for a "Self Reporting Indicator."

I am not trying to start a sh*t storm, I'm just reacting to those that blew my way. I realize people poop and it's got to go somewhere BUT, it doesn't seem reasonable that the company being paid to manage that waste is allowed to operate outside of their permit. It would seem from the info provided that as long as they confess (self-report), everything is pretty much good to go into a high contact recreational area.

Another thing that baffles me is that BRA seems just fine with the situation. Sure, they may not have the authority to regulate such things but I would dam(n) sure be interested if the recreation I promote is in an ongoing unauthorized waste stream. As for current water quality monitoring at the Hwy 16 bridge, dilution has long been the solution for unauthorized discharges.

So I left the cesspool, caught a couple of keepers near the bridge, and paddled down to Flint Bend for a fish dinner and night on the river. Fish were alot overcooked. Most happy to have squeezed in another river trip before the water slows and temps hit 100.

Not sure that I will pursue this any further but thought I should share my findings.

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#11696670 - 06/29/16 08:30 PM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
Crazy4oldcars Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 1082
Loc: Silsbee (Southeast Texas)
The TCEQ has a ...long history... of looking the other way. There is a frequent flyer North of one of the premier fishing lakes in Texas that also gets the wink-wink-nudge-nudge-you-naughty-polluter-you treatment.
It's no wonder we keep getting consumption limit warnings for the fish we catch.
As far as fighting it, you better have deep pockets. You would basically have to bring suit against a governmental regulation bureaucracy, and they are masters at block and delay.
Regardless, I appreciate the warning about the water body. I'll just give PK a pass, lol.

Glad to see you got to catch a few while you were there.

Kirk B.
_________________________


"The cheese in the mousetrap is ALWAYS free"

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#11696971 - 06/30/16 12:32 AM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
HERROUTDOORS Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 2505
Loc: Richardson, Texas
Yeah my inlaws were in a similar fight on the South San Gabriel River in Leander. A new water waste treatment plant was built and discharges above there place and the river has a sludge and moss that has a terrible stench from the water up river. They tried taking it to court but could no longer to afford to fight it due to time and (big) money.

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#11698146 - 06/30/16 03:05 PM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
pelageo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Granbury
I feel for the in-laws. I would be pretty devastated. Places outside the reach of urban sprawl are getting hard to find.

To add to the PK story: Found an Order issued by the TCEQ in 2015 to Double Diamond d/b/a "whatever property they are developing" based in Dallas that described the nature of violations back in 2011-2012. TCEQ cited them for discharges at Rock Creek in Grayson Co (820,000 count of E coli in pond discharging to surface water) and The Cliffs Resort and fined them $13K in 2015. Smells today like $13K didn't make much of an impact. And the relationship between BRA (water provider) and The Cliffs Resort (water buyer/waste producer) is a little clearer now.

In defense of the TCEQ, I can attest that most of the case workers take their job very seriously. Brother-in-law deals may happen higher up but folks I have worked with on behalf of industry would get a golden pass to the tree-huggers club and wouldn't appreciate The Cliffs taking a dump in a frequented fishing hole. A little noise can't hurt.

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#11698748 - 06/30/16 10:57 PM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
9094 Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 6001
Loc: Albany
The smell is coming from the lake. Rotting vegetation due to the flood waters early this month. and lake is turning over. The smell is natural and will disappear after the lake clears up and all the vegetation dies.
The same smell is all over the lake in pockets.


Edited by 9094 (06/30/16 10:58 PM)

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#11700220 - 07/01/16 05:35 PM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
Hawkpuppy 1 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/20/02
Posts: 580
Loc: Kerrville, Texas
I believe Double Diamond is also the "owners" at White Bluff on Lake Whitney....

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#11701667 - 07/02/16 06:55 PM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
Fish ZoMbiE Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 03/25/09
Posts: 9663
Environmental Justice Hotline: 800-962-6215 - Toll FreeE-mail: EJHotline@epa.govHours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday – Friday, Closed Federal Holidays; After-hours services are available via voicemailType of Coverage: Staffed by live Contractor to the EPADescription: A publically accessible service that provides communities with information that may assist in addressing potential environmental and/or public health issues, as well as fosters the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of low-income, minority, tribal and indigenous communities that may experience environmental and/or public health concerns.Additional Notes: You can find additional information resources at www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice.

Has it always smelt rank down there?


Pretty sure I've smelt the funk below other dams too barf
R yall sure someone is dumping into the river?
&
U have proof waste is being dumped where? coffee

https://www.epa.gov/home/forms/contact-epa


_________________________

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#11703618 - 07/04/16 08:38 AM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
pelageo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Granbury
All reasonable questions that I can't answer. It was my first trip up to the PK dam. I have paddled immediately below the Granbury dam maybe 10 times a year in all seasons for the past 10+ years and have never smelled anything sewage-like there. I suppose the intent of the post was to find out if others had experiencced what I did at PK. So far, it appears not. Here is what I have learned from readily available documents:

1. Double Diamond manages The Cliffs Resort and Double Diamond Utilities has a permit to discharge treated water from their wastewater treatment plant at an outfall below the PK dam. (Same organization is responsible for both the clubhouse and the mudhouse.)
2. DDU has a history of discharging wastewater outside of permit requirements, the Rock Creek violation perhaps being the most egregious on record with TCEQ-collected samples having an 820,000 E coli concentration-common permit limits are 126 per 100 ml sample.
3. DDU continuously operates outside of their permit requirements at The Cliffs based on some unknown self-reporting criteria.

All I'm saying is things don't smell right at PK and the fox is gaurding the henhouse. The only folks with a constant eye on the hen/mudhouse is BRA and they want nothing to do with this-maybe becouse they sell The Cliffs millions of gallons of water a year to water their golf course. Don't know-just saying.

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#11704319 - 07/04/16 05:30 PM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
bert Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 2141
Loc: Garland, TX, USA
Once a thermocline sets up in a body of water and you have a turnover whether forced by flood or tempurature you will experience this. I have put in on a number of lakes in the fall and have pockets bubbling up all over the lake, turned the boat around and went home.
_________________________
Bert

"Ipsa scientia potestas est"-Knowledge in itself is power - Sir Francis Bacon

"Beware the lolipop of mediocrity, one lick and you could suck forever" - unknown author

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#11705235 - 07/05/16 11:21 AM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
HeavyLead Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/18/14
Posts: 891
Loc: Rowlett, Texas
They are releasing water from the bottom of the lake right now. That's what the bottom of the lake smells like with all the dead stuff at the bottom. The smell is pretty strong, but strangely it's easy to get used to. After a while, I didn't smell it at all.

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#11707099 - 07/06/16 09:26 AM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: HeavyLead]
pelageo Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/04/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Granbury
Originally Posted By: HeavyLead
They are releasing water from the bottom of the lake right now. That's what the bottom of the lake smells like with all the dead stuff at the bottom. The smell is pretty strong, but strangely it's easy to get used to. After a while, I didn't smell it at all.


In support of this, the water was very cool that day-very refreshing for the end of June. I'm becoming a believer that my nose fooled me. Still, time well spent understanding the players and process of monitoring surface water quality in that area. And my takeaway: BRA should at least monitor the situation as part of their commitment to the Clean Rivers Program. Clubhouses make money, mudhouses cost money, and maybe one for-profit entity shouldn't have total control over both.


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#11709059 - 07/07/16 05:33 AM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
jnd59 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/17/07
Posts: 598
Loc: Weatherford
I wouldn't conflate the ownership of the development with the ownership of the utility. After a development matures the utility is usually turned over to the homeownes just like a POA. The developer may or may not have control over the utility.
_________________________

I fish on a 14 ft piece of plastic.

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#11715397 - 07/10/16 04:12 PM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
Bman92 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/24/16
Posts: 14
Try calling your local news station, maybe they can shame the government into doing their job.

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#11716964 - 07/11/16 01:18 PM Re: What did my fish eat [Re: pelageo]
gutcheck Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: Dallas
Yeah I was out there about 2 weeks ago when they were releasing from the "bottom gate". It's not the usual 5 foot of clarity when they're doing that, and it doesn't smell good, but I'm pretty sure it's decaying matter from the bottom of the lake, not turds. Fishing was pretty good for me... I don't doubt there's treated effluent into rock creek but that's miles above the dam and I just don't see it having any kind of immediate sensory effect below the dam...


I'll add that if I'm wrong it won't be the first time, but I've fished just below enough dams to know they are often pretty stinky due to bottom water...
_________________________

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