BAYTOWN (KTRK) --Heavy rains this week overwhelmed parts of the Baytown sewer system, sending about 900,000 gallons of overflow gushing from manholes around town.
"I'm thinking it's not getting any better and it's terrible when all the sewer (water) is going right into the bayou," Trisha Pike said. She lives across the street from a manhole, located at Bayou Ave. and Elton, which overflows every time it rains, she said.
"It doesn't have to rain much. We just look out and there it goes again," she said.
Public works crews cleaned up and disinfected the area Friday afternoon. Pieces of toilet paper were still in the street when they showed up. Construction on nearby Kilgore Rd. is set to replace an aging sewage line. The city reports spending over $137 million in improvements since 2002 to update infrastructure. The oldest areas are being replaced first. The city has seen a steady reduction in overflows because of the work and a spokesperson said the spills do not affect the drinking water.
"I'm hoping they fix the sewer and it doesn't do it anymore," Pike said.
The overflowing manhole runs into a drainage ditch, which ends up in Cedar Bayou.
"I'm sure it's not good. I'm sure it's not good going down there. We're shrimpers and we have shrimp boats down there and we have docks and our kids, grand-kids go fishing. I don't know if they catch fish and eat them right there. I don't know if that's good," Pike said.
The city says overflows happen because of heavy downpours and Baytown got between 7.5 to 9 inches of rain within the last week. A spokesperson said all governmental entities were notified, including TCEQ about the spills, which were located near Cedar Bayou, Black Duck Bay and Burnett Bay.