At Least 3,750 Gallons of Lost Wastewater Reported in Harlingen

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HARLINGEN - State records from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality tell us three cities reported accidentally losing wastewater.


The loss reported was at least 3,750 gallons.


About five weeks ago in a neighborhood in Harlingen, parts of the city were under ten inches of rain.


Paublo Vuittonet says he was riding his bike through the waters when he noticed the manhole cover near Harligen's Lift Station Number 18.


"The lid was off. That's how much it was coming out", says Vuittonet.


On June 27, Harlingen Waterworks System says Lift Station 18 stopped working due to a power failure.


The next lift station over didn't have power either.


Nearly 900 gallons of sewage were released when that happened in Harlingen.


It wasn't the only incident where wastewater overflowed.


Harlingen, San Benito, and Brownsville reported a total of six incidents in the three days after the rainstorm.


Harlingen Wastewater Director, Jon Hedegard, says floodwaters can get into lift stations.


The mix of water can flow out and into the street.


City Manager De La Rosa declined the opportunity for an interview, however, he did have the following comment:


"The City of San Benito Public Works Department performs self-reporting of any sanitary sewer flows to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality ("TCEQ").  The City continues to repair and rehabilitate the sanitary sewer system in accordance with the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Initiative Agreement with TCEQ.


As you know, the City of San Benito did not experience the levels of flooding from the heavy rains as did the cities of Harlingen, La Feria, and other Rio Grande Valley areas.


However, the City of San Benito did receive heavy rains during June 2018 and again during June 2019 that would have strained our sanitary sewer system.


The City of San Benito is committed to keeping the community safe and will strive to improve the sanitary sewer system, and to keeping the storm water drainage conveyance systems free of debris."


Watch the video above for the full story.



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