Satellite view of flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. Photo: NOAA

By John Flesher
4 September 2017

(Associated Press) – Harvey's filthy floodwaters pose significant dangers to human safety and the environment even after water levels drop far enough that Southeast Texas residents no longer fear for their lives, according to experts.

Houston already was notorious for sewer overflows following rainstorms. Now the system, with 40 wastewater treatment plants across the far-flung metropolis, faces an unprecedented challenge.

State officials said several dozen sewer overflows had been reported in areas affected by the hurricane, including Corpus Christi. Private septic systems in rural areas could fail as well.

Also stirred into the noxious brew are spilled fuel, runoff from waste sites, lawn pesticides and pollutants from the region's many petroleum refineries and chemical plants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported Sunday that of the 2,300 water systems contacted by federal and state regulators, 1,514 were fully operational. More than 160 systems issued notices advising people to boil water before drinking it, and 50 were shut down. […]

About 85 percent of Houston's drinking water is drawn from surface sources — rivers and reservoirs, said Robin Autenrieth, head of Texas A&M University's civil engineering department. The rest comes from the city's 107 groundwater wells.

"I would be concerned about what's in the water that people will be drinking," she said. [more]

Harvey's floodwaters mix a foul brew of sewage, chemicals

0 comments :

 

Blog Template by Adam Every . Sponsored by Business Web Hosting Reviews