They’re Baa-aaack!

As they said in Poltergeist II, “They’re baa-aaack!” Contractors were hard at work again today at the Laurel Springs RV construction site near Lakewood Cove. The site had been virtually shut down for two days as city, county and state authorities launched investigations into alleged unauthorized stormwater discharges and other violations of the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

Poltergeist Flashback

However, at noon today, I counted 11 contractor vehicles parked on the street and, and saw heavy equipment digging trenches and laying pipe throughout the site.

Workers’ vehicles lined up at entrance. Several more vehicles were parked out of frame on lower right.

It did not escape my notice that all this construction activity happened on a weekend when few inspectors pay surprise visits. The massive discharge of stormwater into Edgewater Park also happened on a Saturday.

Stormwater Discharge into Edgewater Park

The most serious allegations by far involve the discharge of the silty contents of the resort’s detention pond into the wetlands of Edgewater Park during the last two weeks. At first contractors tried to pump water over the pond wall.

Laurel Springs RV Resort
Laurel Springs RV Resort pumping stormwater into Edgewater Park on Jan. 18, 2022.

Then they finally just opened up a trench and drained the pond into the county park.

stormwater runoff
Draining the pond into Edgewater Park (background) through a trench on Saturday 1/29/22.

Finally, they installed pipes to create a permanent stormwater conduit from the pond into the park.

Contractors laying pipe under wall of detention pond to send stormwater into Edgewater Park
Contractors covering pipe through wall of detention pond to create a permanent conduit for stormwater into Edgewater Park on 1/31/22.

After the biggest release last Saturday, the wetlands in the park are still heavily discolored with sediment, even though the pipe now appears to have been covered with dirt.

Sediment-laden water in wetlands of Edgewater Park today, 2/5/22, still had a “coffee with cream” color to it.

Track-Out Issue

One of the SWPPP violations was lack of bullrock at the entrance. Bullrock knocks mud from truck tires before they leave the site. That keeps the mud from getting into streets where it can clog storm sewers.

Yesterday, I photographed one bulldozer at the entrance making room for bullrock.

Entrance to Laurel Springs RV Resort Construction Site
Entrance to Laurel Springs RV Resort Construction Site on 2/4/22. Note: barely any bullrock at entrance.

At noon today, 2/5/22, I found fresh bullrock at the entrance.

Fresh bullrock at entrance of Laurel Springs RV Resort construction site.

One other curious thing: the bullrock did not extend very far past the curb…approximately 10 feet. Assuming 4-foot tall tires on dump trucks, it would take more than 12 feet for tires to make one full rotation on bullrock (π x diameter).

These folks spare no expense to protect the public.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/5/22

1621 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.