TYLER, TX (KLTV) - More than 100 thousand gallons of domestic wastewater mixed with rainwater discharged into a Tyler creek this weekend.
According to the City of Tyler, excess storm water caused a damaged sewage pipe to overflow. The excess came out of a manhole at W NW Loop 323 and Texas College Road.
The problem began on May 26, when part of an eroded TxDOT culvert fell and damaged the City of Tyler wastewater line that runs beneath it.
"The culvert headwall fell," Interim Director of Utilities and Public Works Gordon Mayer said. "It dropped onto our 42-inch sewer line."
The city patched the damage and was monitoring the pipe for any issues while waiting for a contractor to complete a full repair. But before the repair could be completed, heavy rain came through.
"The excess water [on Saturday] was not able to get through the damaged area," Mayer said. "So it started flowing out from a manhole at Black Fork Creek."
Because the city was monitoring the site, they were able to begin a bypass immediately, which took one hour. The overflow was stopped for several hours but began again in the afternoon when the second round of rain passed.
The city increased the temporary infrastructure and the overflow was stopped again.
In total, wastewater and storm water flowed out of a manhole for four or five hours into the creek, which flows into the Neches River and into Lake Palestine.
The city is continuing to monitor the area and maintain the patch, with a full crew working at the site. Texas Parks and Wildlife is also moving along the creek, testing the water to determine a specific level of contaminants.
The city says this event will not affect its ability to provide clean drinking water, and that a contractor will be able to fully repair the pipe early this week.