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Flooding Causes Raw Sewage to be Discharged into Area Waterways

Mario Tama/getty images, photo NOT of Angelina spill
Mario Tama/getty images, photo NOT of Angelina spill

The following is taken from a press release from the Angelina & Neches River Authority:

On Tuesday, November 17th, the Angelina & Neches River Authority (ANRA) experienced a catastrophic failure of the sanitary sewer collection system at its North Angelina County Regional Wastewater Facility (NACRWF) located at 996
Edgewood Drive, Lufkin, TX.

A manhole on the main trunk line collapsed at the entrance of the wastewater treatment
facility resulting from localized flooding during the thunderstorms that occurred on November 17th. The collapsed manhole caused a complete blockage of the trunk line delivering sewage to the wastewater treatment plant and resulted in the unauthorized discharge of approximately 300,000 gallons of rainwater and raw domestic

The event started at approximately 10:15 a.m. on November 17th. Temporary repairs were completed at approximately 8:30 p.m. that same day. Permanent repair activities are currently underway to ensure this type of wastewater spill does not occur in the future at this location.

The discharge path from the location of the manhole collapse is to an unnamed tributary; then to Mill Creek; then to Paper Mill Creek; then to the Angelina River and ultimately to the Sam Rayburn Reservoir. After factoring in the volume
of rainfall and localized flooding, containment/clean up of the unauthorized discharge was not possible. ANRA anticipates impact to public health and the environment to be minimal. However, as a Precautionary Measure, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires the following Precautionary Statement:
(1) Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within 1/2 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.
(2) 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.
(3) The public should avoid contact with waste material, soil, or water in the area potentially affected by the spill.
(4) 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.

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