Volente e-News
Edited by Lonnie Moore
Shoreline Cleanup; Cat Found; Lake Levels; Wastewater Aug 15, 2009
  Roll Off Dumpster from Central Texas RefuseResidents and volunteers, eager to get started, have already started digging out debris and junk from the shoreline in anticipation of the Volente Shoreline Cleanup. While most of the collection and transport will happen the week of Sept 7-13, it is not too early to get started.  Over 30 shoreline volunteers are on a separate email list for the event and more are joining in. If you plan to participate, please make sure you are on that special email list as detailed information will not be in the Volente e-News. If you still have not already responded, simply reply to this message or email lonnie@lonniemoore.com.
SPECIAL THANKS IN ADVANCE TO: Central Texas Refuse (and our own Don Green) for donating a 30-yard dumpster (photo) to the effort; Todd Kahler at Anderson Mill Marina for providing a collection site; Frank and Carrie Carter at Highland Lakes Marina for providing our second collection site; and our 3 barge provider/operators: Jan Yenawine, Dodd Street Docks, and H&H Lake Maintenance.  
This drought may seem like sour lemons, but let's make lemonade by using the opportunity to rid the lake of these dangerous and unsightly items.Talk to your neighbors about it and get them involved.Rusty barrels line the bottom of a cove
 We found this site by accident and it seems worth mentioning: www.LakeLevelAlert.com .It is free, supported by typical advertising, and will automatically send you email notifications when any number of established "trigger" water levels are recorded on Lake Travis. It was started by a guy who was constantly having to check on lake levels to see if his out of town dock needed to be moved. It also provides a chart of lake levels (click on image below to see the up to date chart for Travis).
Lake Travis water level chart from lakelevelalert.com 
 Nice "Homeless" Cat In Debbie Drive Area Needs Place to Live 
Hi - would you please send an email out letting folks know there is an amazingly sweet, lovely, white cat in the area of Debbie Drive and Davy Drive who needs a home---fast.  She acts as though she's definitely used to being someone's house kitty.  She may have been nursing kittens recently.  She looks to be in good health with good coat.  She's not shy, and seems to behave without the "normal" cautious reserve she should have for being in a strange area. 
We would keep her in a heart-beat, but have already rescued many from the neighborhood, all spayed and neutered now... she will get hurt by the other kitties if she tries to stick around.
 Thank you,
Janice & Cliff
 Guest editorial from: The Protect Lake Travis Association
 In the early 1980's, the State of Texas implemented a series of rules restricting or preventing discharge of sewage effluent into the six Highland Lakes, as well as several other lakes in Texas. The Protect Lake Travis Association was instrumental in getting these rules passed by bringing public and government attention to the negative effects of effluent discharges on our lakes and, in particular, Lake Travis.  Action against effluent discharges was initially triggered in 1981 by a developer's plans for a sewage treatment plant which would have discharged 300,000 gallons a day into Bullick Hollow Creek at a point less than 2 miles from Lake Travis.
Recently a number of wastewater service providers, including developers and the cities of Leander and Marble Falls, have begun a petition and a public relations campaign to request that the current restriction on effluent discharge be replaced with less stringent TCEQ rules that would allow them to discharge effluent directly into the lakes. As part of their campaign, they argue that 1) effluent discharges would improve the lake levels, 2) that wastewater treatment processes have improved so that discharges would not be harmful and 3) that land-based disposal of effluent is costly and wasteful.
PLTA adamantly rejects the premise of the petitioners that the current rules restricting discharge should be changed. These rules have been fundamental to keeping Lake Travis as clean and healthy as it is.
The harmful products within effluent not only include nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which promote algae growth, but also micro-constituents.  These micro-constituents, including pharmaceutical drugs passed by the human body and many others found in wastewater, are often human endocrine system disrupters. While there are technologies being developed to try to deal with these pollutants, such as adding reverse osmosis to the treatment cycle, no area wastewater operator we know of has suggested treating their effluent to the required level that would not harm the Highland Lakes and the people that use them. Further, there are dozens of small wastewater plant operations along the Highland Lakes, some of them of dubious skill and financial resources. Giving them the ability to discharge into the lakes is a recipe for an ecological disaster. And any wastewater plant can have an "accident" resulting in improperly treated sewage reaching our waterway through the discharge system, if discharge is allowed.
Land based irrigation with treated effluent is beneficial reuse. Done correctly, this reduces the amount of water needed to be drawn from the Highland Lakes. This reuse of the water supply is the best way to have a positive effect on lake levels and is much more environment-friendly than direct discharge. Cities and municipal utility authorities should develop customers for their treated effluent, as a number of entities, including Lakeway MUD, are doing throughout the country.  These relationships benefit both the suppliers and the users of the effluent, and will reduce the economic and political pressure for changes in the discharge rules.
Neighborhood associations, cities such as Village of Volente, marina owners and all waterfront owners and Lake Travis users should be prepared to tell TCEQ and these wastewater operators that the current rules restricting discharge should remain in effect.