Temple: Sewage overflows could top total of last 3 years combined

(Photo by Megan Vanselow)
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) The volume of wastewater overflows so far this year is on pace to exceed the total volume of sewage spilled over the last three years, but the city is installing a new lift station in hopes of resolving the problem.

So far in 2019, 2.2 million gallons of untreated wastewater has spilled into Lions Park and nearby creeks and streams.

From 2016 to 2018, a total of 2.8 million gallons overflowed.

The city says the amount of overflow all depends on the time of day heavy rain falls.

“If it's at night while everybody is asleep, you'll have a lot greater capacity because there's not so much taxation on the system, versus if it's during the day when people are actually using water and flushing their toilets and everything else that comes up that, you're going to have a lot greater chance for waste water overflow.” city spokeswoman Ellen Morton says.

The new lift station will replace some of the current 30-inch lines and add new ones.

Morton says the system is 67 percent complete and should be fully functional by July.

But it couldn’t come soon enough; last week, more than 300,000 gallons overflowed in Temple, making current rain forecasts a bigger threat.

“Anytime you have wastewater and you're just cleaning up the mess from last time, plus what we are going through now, we do have to anticipate and be able to have our crews ready in advance,” Morton says.

While the Temple spills have been confined to a few locations, in Waco, sewage discharges have been occurring across the city at several different locations during heavy rains.