Erosion along creek threatening Spring Valley swim club

SPRING VALLEY, Texas (KTRK) -- Summers are meant to be carefree for kids, with hours spent in a neighborhood pool. That is, unless your pool is about to fall into a creek.

That's just the problem facing families who are members of Dad's Club, one of the oldest swim clubs in the Houston area.

"It's a really good pool and it shouldn't fall into the bayou," said young swimmer Ryan Kim.

Over the years, erosion along Briar Branch Creek, which abuts in the Dad's Club property, has eaten away at the base of a club pool. This week, the club began a massive creek reconstruction project with a budget of almost $200,000.

"We're really appealing to anyone out there who's swam at Dad's Club who took lessons here, who's ever been on a swim team here to contribute just a little bit," said Chris Helman, who has two boys swimming here.

Dad's Club though isn't alone in its erosion woes. Just up the creek, long time homeowner Peggy Rowell took us to the back of her property, which also adjoins parts of Briar Branch Creek. She says development upstream has increased water flow in the creek. That, plus years of erosion has caused her property to slope and decrease.

"We are losing our swimming pool, we had to redo it once and it cracked immediately after we did it, within six months," said an exasperated Rowell. She and other longtime residents have contacted the Harris County Flood Control as well as Spring Valley City Hall, but with no results.

For individual homeowners like Rowell, there is no simple fix for the erosion problems along the creek. Every project to retain property would cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Dad's Club is a bit luckier. The Club bought the large estate that sits across the creek, which allows it to have more flexibility in shoring up the pools. Whether the estate will be sold for future development has been a controversial subject in the Spring Valley neighborhood. However, Dad's Club is just currently focused on fixing the areas surrounding the pool.

There is an online fundraiser called "Beat the Creek" and parents are actively recruiting donations.

"We know it's going to get fixed," said board President Charlie Calderwood. "It's not going to wash down to Galveston Bay, we can take care of that."

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