Cutten Basin layout

HCFCD Continues Relentless Expansion of Cutten Basin on Greens Bayou

Where Greens Bayou cuts across the northwest corner of Beltway 8 and 249, Harris County Flood Control District is expanding its Cutten Regional Stormwater Detention Basin.

Location of HCFCD’s Cutten Floodwater Detention Basin
The basin includes 5 separate Basin Compartments (BCs). One is on the north side of the Bayou (BC5) and four are on the south side (BC1-4).

The $16.2 million expansion will add 866 acre-feet of stormwater storage capacity to the previous 677 acre-feet. That’s enough to lower the water surface elevation by .36 feet throughout the surrounding floodplain.

When complete, the 235-acre complex will have enough capacity to hold a foot of stormwater falling over 2.4 square miles.

Photos Taken 10/15/2021 Show Current Construction Status

Looking E at the extension of Greens Road between BC3 (right) and BC4 (left). Red line indicates path of culvert under roadbed.
Looking W in opposite direction. Greens Bayou is on right. Greens Road (coming from top of frame) will be extended south along ridge that bisects BC3 and BC4 in foreground. BC1 and BC2 are in background on either side of Greens Road. Hollister cuts through the frame from left to right.
Looking NW across Hollister toward yet another detention pond, BC5.
Looking SW across the intersection of Hollister (left) and Greens Road (right). Excavation of BC1 still has a way to go. On Friday, muddy conditions were slowing down the work, but if you look closely, you can still see heavy equipment working in the distance.

How Ponds Will Work with Bayou, Surrounding Developments

These ponds will function two ways. They will take stormwater:

  • Out of Greens Bayou when it starts to overflow.
  • Directly from surrounding subdivisions before it gets into the bayou.

This presentation describes more about the Cutten Basin.

It’s important to understand that County/Municipal neighborhood drainage and HCFCD infrastructure often pre-date current building and development codes, as they do in this area.

As cities and precincts re-grade and reconstruct streets with more and bigger storm sewers that get water out of neighborhoods faster, that water needs a place to go – without flooding others downstream.

In this area, these ponds will be that place. Everything has to work together. The very first sentence of the Texas Water Code Section 11.086 states, “No person may divert … surface waters in this state … in a manner that damages the property of another…”

Stormwater detention basins like these also provide greenspace and recreational opportunities, such as public parks.

HCFCD expects to complete the Cutten Project in the summer of 2022.

Cutten Basin Size in Perspective

To put the size of this basin in perspective, it roughly equals the size of Woodridge Village. Woodridge is the aborted Perry Homes development in Montgomery County. HCFCD purchased it earlier this year to build a regional Stormwater Detention Basin on Taylor Gully in the Porter/Kingwood area.

The Woodridge site already contains five small detention ponds and HCFCD has room in the center to add more. Perhaps the Woodridge site will look somewhat like this one before things are all over.

Cutten is one of six detention basins (Cutten, Antoine, Kuykendahl, Glen Forest, Aldine-Westfield, Lauder) either recently constructed or almost constructed by the Army Corps and HCFCD in the mid and upper reaches of Greens Bayou. HCFCD is also studying a number of flood mitigation projects on the lower reaches of Greens.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/16/2021

1509 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 758 since Imelda