Use less: Urgent warnings from city as wastewater plant remains underwater

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston wastewater treatment plant, inundated with water, remains in a critical state, requiring conservation by people in the area, city officials stressed Wednesday.

The simple message: flush the toilet less.

The more complex message: try to use as little wastewater as possible, including shorter showers, not running large loads of laundry and not running the dishwasher if you can delay it until the problem is resolved.

This alert affects residents in zip codes:
  • 77024
  • 77041
  • 77043
  • 77055
  • 77077
  • 77079
  • 77080
  • 77094

The treatment plants remain flooded by up to 8 feet of water, officials said.

The city of Houston's wastewater treatment plant in west Houston.

"This is still very serious and we need to make sure everyone is aware that they need to do everything possible," said council member Brenda Stardig.

Council member Greg Travis brought bottles of flood water to city hall Wednesday, warning of the smell. He urged people to be aware that they need to do what they can to keep a problem from becoming worse.

"We don't want [wastewater] in homes," Travis said.

An emergency pipeline is being built to bypass the facility and bring operations back to normal, but that may not be completed until the end of the week or later, officials said.

The city also wants to remind residents the water remains safe to use, including tap water coming out of the faucet.

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