The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has found that some untreated sewage water was discharged into a bayou flowing to Neches River.
On May 30, the TCEQ received a complaint that sewage water was coming out of a pipe and spilling into a drainage canal. The Hillebrandt Bayou flows into the Neches River.
A TCEQ spokesperson tells us that after an investigation was conducted, a notice of violation was issued to the city of Beaumont for failure to prevent the discharge of wastewater into or adjacent to waters in the state.
According to a TCEQ report, an investigator surveyed the canal off of Astor Street on May 31, 2017.
They noted there was no discharge at the time but said that the water appeared septic, smelled of sewage and had what appeared to be toilet paper sludge floating on the surface.
The findings were reported to the city’s water utilities engineer. Paul Zappi stated he would investigate the area, according to the report.
The report says on June 1, Zappi told the TCEQ investigator a small leak was found and fixed on an 8-inch line along Wiess Street, but noted that nothing was a contributing factor to the sewage discharge on Astor Street.
TCEQ investigators collected samples of the canal water on June 2. Test results four days later determined that sewage was present in the canal.
The report says the city was notified it would be cited for an unauthorized discharge.
A Notice of Violation letter was issued on July 19 after the investigation ended.
A video sent by a 12 News viewer showed a fire hydrant on Tannis and Fletcher Street expulsing gallons of water to flush out the sewage. The video was recorded on July 27.
The city was told the issue had to be fixed by August 18.
12 News reached out to the city manager for comment.