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I am the San Marcos River

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, March 3, 2019

Editor,

I am the San Marcos River. I am the jewel of Central Texas. Flowing from clear springs in san Marcos I flow, usually sedately, down to Martindale and points beyond.

Some calling themselves SMARTER San Marcos are concerned that I am located only 1,250 feet south of a proposed 934-acre development near Martindale called the SMART Terminal. Those concerned use the term heavy industry. They say it will be 70 to 80 percent impervious cover. A new rail line so close to the river. How awful.

But think of me. Right now that land is being farmed using the best modern practices. Modern farming like this is often called industrial farming. Heavy applications of fertilizer are being applied to the land to produce bountiful crops. Normal runoff from the land including nitrates and organic crop residue does flow down toward me.

Nitrate readings in the past in wells next to me have exceeded safe limits for drinking water. Please understand I have septic tanks close to me. I have natural erosion and other sources all leading to increase nitrate levels. Farming may be only a small piece of the increased nitrate levels I experience.

I am thinking less farming on the land; less fertilizer being spread. I am thinking the city council in their wisdom will require numerous and large retention ponds and basins to collect the rain water. What is the effect of impervious cover if all runoff is collected in retention ponds. I am thinking this will actually reduce the runoff from this land. I am thinking a rail line 1,250 feet from me will not affect me in any way.

I am thinking this development may be good for me. I am the San Marcos River.

Sincerely,

Robert L. Peters