The city of Waco announced an unauthorized discharge of wastewater from the Waco Metropolitan Area Regional Sanitary Sewerage System.
The discharge totaled almost 180,000 gallons of domestic wastewater and is due to heavy rainfall while a contractor performed work on the main lift station of the WMARSS Central Treatment Plant, located at 1147 Treatment Plant Road.
According to the city's release, all discharge has been stopped and cleanup activities are underway, but approximately 90,000 gallons entered the Brazos River.
"The city’s wastewater collection system is completely separate from the drinking water system and the city of Waco has no reason to believe drinking water, distributed by the city of Waco, has been compromised or affected in any way," said the announcement.
The city said it has taken actions regarding the wastewater discharge, including notifying local government officials and the TCEQ Regional Office.
However, the city provided the following information, which lists mandatory health safety statements required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
According to the city, residents may wish to take the following precautions:
- Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within ½ 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.
- 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.