Large Sewage Spill Enters Houston Watershedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
May 25, 2000 - 06:03 AM
Large Sewage Spill Enters Houston Watershed The Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) - A sewage spill of up to 2 million gallons has operators of the municipal drinking water supply for the nation's fourth largest city bracing for possible contamination. Environmental officials are trying to evaluate effects of the raw sewage that could eventually seep into the water supply.
An inspection failed to detect a disabled pump Saturday and sewage flowed into a tributary of Spring Creek, said Rick Melcher, spokesman for AquaSource, a Houston contractor. The problem was discovered Sunday.
"It could very well be that it's diluted and would not be a threat to the water supply, but we don't know right now," said Barbara Sullivan, environmental investigator for the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.
About 65 percent of the city's water supply comes from surface water and Lake Houston supplies about 25 percent of that. The sewage should take about two weeks to reach water supply intake valves in Lake Houston, said Wes Johnson, spokesman for the Houston Public Works and Engineering Department.
Human fecal matter in the sewage could contain deadly bacteria such as salmonella and shigella, viruses such as hepatitis A, and numerous other harmful microbes, he said.
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-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 25, 2000.