Tires and trash fill stagnant pond

May 14, 2008 4:00:10 AM PDT
The mayor of Dayton says he wants swift action cleaning up a property which has become a graveyard for old tires. What was once a pond is now a filled with garbage -- an eyesore and a potential health hazard for nearby neighbors.Dayton still has a small town feel, but the community is growing. Some of the latest growth uncovered a shallow pond full of stagnant water and more than 100 discarded tires. It covers more than 300 square feet of property. Next to that is a sprawling yard of trash -- from household garbage to mattresses and more.

It all sits behind a family compound of trailers and a few aging houses. The residences are occupied by various members of the Antoine family. They lived there long before the land was annexed by Dayton.

"My brother had a tire shop right over here, and he would change a lot of tires," explained resident Reba Antoine. "The ones he didn't need I guess he disposed of them out there."

Other cities might issue citations that the Antoine family could not pay, put a lien on the property and return for clean-up, but Dayton is trying a different approach.

"It's not as if we're going out to clean up Love Canal -- it's a very small area," said Dayton City Manager David Douglas. "This job will get done. We just have to do it in the appropriate way."

That way is having a contractor remove the tires and trash, and fill in the pond. But as Dayton grows, more environmental problems like this may be discovered in these east Texas woods.

There's also a concern that the septic system on the family's property may have failed, allowing sewage to make its way into the water with the tires. Samples of that water are being sent to the state for testing.

We brought you this story with the help of our partnership with the Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more about it in the Dayton News.

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