>> Questions or Comments: eapp@tceq.texas.gov
You are here:

Edwards Aquifer: Sensitive Features Encountered During Construction

Steps to take if sensitive features are encountered during a construction activity over the aquifer.

A sensitive feature is a permeable geologic or artificial feature located on the recharge zone or transition zone where there is a potential for hydraulic interconnectedness between the surface and the Edwards Aquifer and rapid infiltration to the subsurface may occur. [See definition in Title 30, Texas Administrative Code, Section 213.3(29)]

If you discover any sensitive feature during construction, replacement, or rehabilitation, immediately suspend all regulated activities near it, and notify the TCEQ.

Install temporary measures such as silt fence and sandbag berms as soon as possible to prevent dust and stormwater from entering into the exposed feature. Contact a Texas-licensed professional geologist to evaluate it. If a sewer line is to be installed in the area, contact a Texas-licensed professional engineer.

Neither construction nor soil-disturbing activities may proceed until the TCEQ has reviewed and approved the methods proposed to protect the feature and the Edwards Aquifer from potential harm to water quality.

Once a Texas-licensed professional engineer or geoscientist prepares a feature-protection plan and the TCEQ receives it, the agency has one week to complete review unless there are deficiencies in the plan.

While waiting for TCEQ approval, as soon as feasible, install and maintain temporary best management practices to protect the feature from pollution and contamination potential. Block traffic from driving near it and prevent construction equipment from operating in the vicinity (typically no activity should occur within 50 feet of it).

How to Notify Us

You may report features to the TCEQ by phone, e-mail or fax. If you are in Williamson, Travis, or Hays County call 512-339-2929. If you are in Comal, Bexar, Medina, Uvalde, or Kinney County call 210-490-3096.

You can also report by e-mail: eappvoid@tceq.texas.gov.

Include:

  1. The name of the project
  2. The Edwards Aquifer protection plan ID number (begins with “11-“ or “13-“ and is found on the approval letter)
  3. The county the project is located in
  4. The number of features discovered
  5. The date each feature was discovered
  6. The contact information for the person responsible for the feature mitigation plan