Contractors laying pipe under wall of detention pond to send stormwater into Edgewater Park

RV Contractor Laying Pipe To Run Stormwater Through Detention Pond Wall Into Park

This morning I returned to the Laurel RV Springs Resort construction site and found contractors burying pipe in the trench they dug through the wall of the detention pond last Saturday.

stormwater runoff
Contractors drain the RV Park detention pond Saturday afternoon, 1/29/22, into Edgewater Park at top of frame.

The pipe leads from the inside to the outside of the pond near Harris County Precinct 4’s new Edgewater Park. This is not an overflow measure. The intake is at the bottom of the pond.

The RV owners are burying a permanent conduit to drain silty stormwater into the park’s wetlands and cypress ponds.

See below.

Same trench on Monday morning, 1/31/22. Pond is in lower left; park in upper right. Contractors are filling the trench to bury the pipe.

Pipe Not On Plans

This pipe does not appear anywhere on approved drainage plans for the RV Park’s detention pond.

For a high res PDF of these approved drainage plans, click here.

Furthermore, the City explicitly prohibits letting runoff cross another’s property.

Detail from approved drainage plan. See first sentence under “Approved Storm Drainage.” “Stormwater runoff shall not cross property line.” It now is.

Does the second sentence about exceeding capacity of the City of Houston storm sewer system have the developer worried? Could that be the reason for the pipe?

I became suspicious on Saturday when I saw black pipe piled near where plans called for reinforced concrete pipe (see below). That pipe looks suspiciously like the pipe now being covered up by the contractor, although in fairness, I did not see them move the pipe.

Image from Saturday afternoon, Jan. 29, 2022. Note black pipe near adjacent work area.
But on Monday morning, there was no sign of black pipe or any kind of pipe entering the pond from this corner where plans said it should be.

Controversy Continues to Swirl Around Pond

From the start, controversy has swirled about the size of the detention pond. The RV park received its construction permits one day before new regulations went into effect. The new regs would have required virtually doubling the size of the pond.

The approved plans explicitly state that stormwater will be pumped from the pond into the Lakewood Cove storm sewer system. From there it would run downhill into the Lakewood Cove detention pond on the east side of Laurel Springs Lane near Hamblen Road. But residents say that pond is now shallow from silt accumulations over the years. And they worry about trying to accommodate their own runoff as well as a developer’s.

This morning’s discovery of the contractor burying pipe into the park is just the latest irregularity. On Saturday, they trenched into the park to drain the pond. Before that they pumped water over the side of the pond into the park. And they’ve been bringing fill into the site instead of moving it from the detention pond.

How they operate with such impunity bewilders me. We definitely need the county attorney to investigate.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/31/2022

1616 Days since 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.