Thousands of gallons of raw sewage have been spilling into Lake Waco since Thursday and officials say they won't be able to stop it anytime soon. The flooded lift station is spilling more than 170,000 gallons of raw sewage into Lake Waco a day.
A Waco Wastewater Collection Systems located in the 4200 block of Green Oaks Dr. was flooded Thursday. Since then, Waco Water Utility Spokesman Jonathan Echols says thousands of gallons of wastewater have been spilling a day near a residential neighborhood.
“We had to pull all the pipes out and the equipment we could save and now it's basically just an open sewage pipe that's going to be flowing in since it's covered in water,” says Echols. “It's going to be flowing into the lake.”
Water officials advise people to stay out of the water near the site of the spill, but the leak has not affected the city's drinking water. However, if you live within a half-mile radius of this spill and get your water from private wells, then you should boil any water you use and have it tested.
Water officials say the overall impact on people is very small.
“As a whole it's a very small amount. Obviously we would rather it not be going straight into the lake, but there's nothing we can do about that."
The city has notified the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality but utility workers say there's nothing they can do about the spill until the lake levels recede, which could take a couple of weeks.
Officials say another sewage lift station on the opposite side of the lake is also in danger of flooding. If that were to happen, then even more sewage would be emptied into the lake.