Turn to Ted: Messy mystery leads to park cleanup

Thursday, November 15, 2018
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A messy mystery makes up this week's Turn to Ted.

Before you keep reading: a warning that what's up this hill is not what you want to see in a public park.

There's really no other way to say it: it's thousands of plastic tampon applicators, a multi colored mess spread over 50 years of a paved out of the way path and down a muddy hill - just outside an equally messy fence.

It's gross, and with the help of Google Maps you can see where it likely came from: a city of Houston waste water treatment plant.

When people on the west side near the Memorial area flush their toilet that water and everything in it ends up here to be treated and cleaned. Systems like this have a tough time with plastic. The systems are not designed to process waste like this so it ends whole at the end of it. Ultimately the city asks everyone not to flush them down but clearly didn't intend for them to end up littering a Harris county park.

As soon as we called on it - the city got it cleaned up. It took a few days but it's clean now. The remaining question is how it got there?

The city says they can't find evidence of an overflow and waste like this is usually kept on the other side of the plant. So the wastewater folks are examining a few theories:

- that they were dumped there - not likely.

- accumulated over time

- or maybe most likely were somehow related to Harvey residue.

Either way it's a messy reminder that everything ends up somewhere - we just hope it's not in a park.