WATCH: What Happens to Water Rates After Epic Sewage Spill into Concho River?
SAN ANGELO, TX — The City of San Angelo's Wastewater Reclamation Facility had a spill into the Concho River over the weekend and with that came many questions.
On June 2 San Angelo received heavy flooding that caused the wastewater treatment plant spill over. The reason for the spill was that when a large amount of rain goes into the sewers it all ends up at the plant.
"The issue with the water treatment plant has nothing to do with its age," said Mayor Gunter. "This still would have happened if we had a new treatment plant." Gunter characterized the excessive rain and runoff as a rare event— something that would happen every 100-500 years.
On a normal day the plant will go through 9.1 million gallons a day. On Sunday they had everything on full blast attempting to keep the plant from overflowing, but with 18.2 million gallons transitioning the facility—more than double the normal daily input/output— it began running over the retention tanks and into the river. Even a backup tank on the east side, just feet away from the river, filled up and spilled over into the river. At the time of the storm, City officials knew that it was overflowing and estimated that at this event around 100,000 gallons of water was dumped into the Concho River.
The following day city officials received a call about a pipe that had busted just one mile upstream of FM 380. Workers were able to stop the leak, but in total both of the spills caused 670,450 gallons of raw untreated sewage to pour into the river at a rate of 2,130 gallons per minute.
The City of San Angelo Water Utilities Director Allison Strube spoke about what happened. Watch the video here.
The plant has initiated cleanup efforts at the plant and then will start on people's properties near by. As for the river the amount of rainwater in the sewage and the high waters in the Concho, the city plans to let the river clean itself.
The primary concern of City officials is well water on surrounding land impacting private property owners in the county. People who live in a half mile radius of the water treatment plant should boil their water and get their wells tested. Unfortunately, the city will not pay for the testing of your well.
Citizens who are City of San Angelo water customers were asking if the incident will affect water rates. Will your water bill go up? According to Mayor Brenda Gunter "No new increased water rates based on this event."
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