More than 100k gallons of wastewater spilled in 5 Houston locations

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Do's and don'ts of boil water notices
Because of the floodings caused by Tropical Storm Beta, the City of Houston is urging some residents to boil their water after more than 100,000 gallons of wastewater was spilled into these locations.

HOUSTON, Texas -- The city of Houston is reporting that an excess of 100,000 gallons of wastewater were released amid Tropical Storm Beta flooding north of downtown and near the Heights area along White Oak Bayou on Sept. 22.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires public notice of significant wastewater leaks.

Spills were reported at five locations: 1424 Wrightwood St., 1222 Wrightwood St., 800 Commerce St., 308 Washington Ave. and 201 Girard St.

The city says the water supply is unaffected, and a boil notice is not necessary.

The TCEQ's guidance for those in the area is as follows, according to a city press release:

  • Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within half a mile of the spill site or within the potentially affected area should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing and tooth brushing.
  • Individuals with private water wells should have their well water tested and disinfected, if necessary, prior to discontinuing distillation or boiling.
  • Persons who purchase water from a public water supply may contact their water supply distributor to determine if the water is safe for personal use.
  • The public should avoid contact with waste material, soil or water in the area potentially affected by the spill. Do not swim in affected areas.
  • If the public comes into contact with waste material, soil or water potentially affected by the spill, they should bathe and wash clothes thoroughly as soon as possible.

The city of Pearland also discovered a wastewater spill from the Barry Rose Water Reclamation Facility, which is located at 1902 Barry Rose Rd.

Officials said wastewater spill was caused by excessive rainfall from Tropical Storm Beta and excess flow from infiltration and inflow. The estimated time of the overflow occurred between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.

An estimated 180,000 gallons (approximately 5% of daily intake) of domestic wastewater overflowed onto the facility grounds, which lead to a drainage ditch that outflows to Clear Creek near Barry Rose and Pearland Parkway.

A bypass pump was placed in the manhole and a hose ran to the headworks to alleviate the well from the incoming wastewater.

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