stormwater runoff discharge

“Stormwater Runoff Shall Not Cross Property Line”

The construction plans approved by the City of Houston for the Laurel Springs RV Resort state that “Stormwater runoff shall not cross property line.” The memory of that warning did not last long.

Reminder about Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater Drainage Plan approved by City of Houston just three months ago. City stamped the red note in the middle of the detention pond below.

A reader emailed me this morning to alert me to the fact that the contractor was digging through the wall of the detention pond to drain it. Pumping the water over the edge evidently didn’t work fast enough.

Note trench being dug through wall of detention pond to empty stormwater runoff onto neighboring property – Harris County Precinct 4’s Edgewater Park on left.
On Saturday afternoon, 1/29/22, contractors were enlarging the breach to drain runoff faster.

The excavator seemed to be widening and deepening the ditch down to level of the pond bottom.

Was the timing of the excavation of this breach on a Saturday afternoon intentional to avoid City Inspectors? Will they fill this trench back in before Monday morning?

Just last week, contractors were pumping water out of the pond to empty it.

Ten-Year Rain in Hundred Year Pond

This pond was about half full of stormwater runoff after the ten-year rain Kingwood received on January 9.

It’s not clear whether the contractor received permission from the City or County to dig the trench that emptied the pond. Phone calls and emails went unanswered Saturday.

Regardless, it is upsetting to residents who have worried about plan deficiencies and possible flooding since last October when the plans were approved and clearing of the land began.

This pond was intended to be a dry bottom pond.

Construction Always Risky

There’s not much more to say about this. In fairness, construction is always difficult and risky. Wet conditions can create expensive delays that put tremendous pressure on all involved. And, of course, partially completed projects never fully function as intended.

Ironically, a close reading of drainage plans reveals that the contractor is supposed to be pumping the water into the COH storm sewer system. The plans also estimate that the draining the entire pond would take just 13 hours with two pumps. However, the connection to COH’s storm sewer has not yet been installed.

Note the construction activity in the top right corner of the last photo below. The contractor appears to be building up a wall around the planned pump cutoff station.

Where stormwater will be pumped into Lakewood Cove’s stormwater sewer system. See plans below.
From Laurel Springs RV Resort approved drainage plan. Plan shows contractor will pump contents of pond into Lakewood Cove storm drain system via a 24 inch pipe running under Lakewood Cove. From there, water will drain, downhill into Lakewood Cove’s detention pond near Hamblen Road.

Pray all that pumping doesn’t back stormwater runoff up into the streets of Lakewood Cove.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/29/2022

1614 Days after Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.