Over 1M gallons of wastewater overflows in Bell County

Posted at 10:24 AM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 18:31:42-05

Over 1 million gallons of wastewater overflowed in Bell County after excessive rain this week.

The City of Temple said 645,500 gallons of wastewater overflowed at 4320 Lion's Park Rd. and 72,000 gallons overflowed at 2402 S. 61st St. into Bird Creek.

"The recent spill is occurring because the storm water collection system is very old and there is a lot of rain water that is infiltrating broken pipes and lose manholes and that kind of thing, Temple City Engineer Don Bond said.

The city received almost 3 inches of rain within 36 hours, likely contributing to the overflow.

"It's the rainwater infiltrating broken pipes and also some of the pipes downstream are undersized for how big the city is now and for how many sewer customers we have and how much sewage is going to that point," Bond added.

According to city officials, the sewage system is currently under construction and it will be finished in 2021.  

The city was able to start cleaning the impacted areas Thursday and will then disinfect them, they hope to have lions park back open by next weekend.

In Harker Heights, 350,000 gallons of wastewater overflowed into South Nolan Creek from N. Amy Lane.

The Texas Commission on Environments l Quality has been notified of the overflows and crews will remove debris and properly disinfect the affected area in Temple.

The City of Harker Heights said the creek has been tested at the affected site for dissolved oxygen levels and there is no adverse impact to the creek.

Both cities say the overflows are due to recent rain. Harker Heights experienced 3.75 inches of rainfall over a 30-hour period.

As a precaution, do not swim in the affected areas and avoid contact with waste material, soil or water. If you come into contact with the waste material, soil or water, the city asks that you bathe and wash your clothes thoroughly as soon as possible.

The City of Temple said the overflow in no way harmed the city's public water supply.

If you use a private drinking water supply well within a half-mile of the spill site, the city says you should only use water that has been distilled or boiled for at least one minute.

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