Large Sewage Spill Enters Houston Watershed-2000 itemgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
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Interesting environmental note with respect to our "problem". Perhaps TDH could assess the relationship, especially with the pattern of spread of cases of meningitis...... http://www.khou.com/news/stories/2711.html "....Large Sewage Spill Enters Houston Watershed
11:21 AM May 26, 2000
HOUSTON -- A sewage spill of up to two million gallons has operators of the municipal drinking water supply for the nation's fourth largest city bracing for possible contamination.
Environmental officials are trying to evaluate effects of the raw sewage that could eventually seep into the water supply via the city's watershed.
A daily inspection failed to detect a disabled pump Saturday and sewage flowed into a tributary of Spring Creek, a spokesman for the contractor that operates the utility district told the Houston Chronicle in today's editions.
The problem wasn't discovered until Sunday, said Rick Melcher, spokesman for AquaSource, the Houston-based contractor.
"It could very well be that it's diluted and would not be a threat to the water supply, but we don't know right now," Barbara Sullivan, environmental investigator for the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, told the Chronicle.
A lightning strike Friday disabled a pump and warning devices that should have alerted the Southern Montgomery County Municipal Utility District that sewage was leaking through a manhole in a wooded area.
The equipment has been repaired and is back in service, officials said.
About 65 percent of the city's water supply comes from surface water and Lake Houston supplies about 25 percent of that.
The sewage should take about two weeks to reach water supply intake valves in Lake Houston because it will be slowed once it enters the lake, said Wes Johnson, spokesman for the Houston Public Works and Engineering Department.
Anthony Bennett, public drinking-water specialist with the Natural Resource Conservation Commission, said swimming could be hazardous in Spring Creek, the San Jacinto River between Spring Creek and Lake Houston, and the upper parts of the lake.
"With a spill of this magnitude, even without any testing, I wouldn't suggest swimming there," Bennett told the newspaper.
Human fecal matter in the sewage could contain deadly bacteria such as salmonella and shigella, viruses such as hepatitis A, and numerous other harmful microbes, he said. .."
-- tex (email@example.com), January 25, 2001