Tag Archive for: East Fork Mouth Bar

Karma Strikes Again: Colony Ridge Drainage Systems Severely Eroding

October 8, 2023 – Karma is fast catching up with the corner-cutting Colony Ridge developer in Liberty County. Drainage infrastructure that doesn’t meet Liberty County regulations is fast eroding.

And tomorrow, a special session of the Texas legislature will start investigating the embattled development. The special session will focus on crime, infrastructure, illegal immigration, and more.

To offset negative publicity, the developer invited legislators to meet at his development last week and tour it.

But just before the meeting, Liberty County deputies, a narcotics unit, and SWAT team responded to an abduction at gunpoint. They also launched a manhunt for two escaped suspects in the sprawling development, which is now 50% larger than Manhattan.

On the day of the developer’s meeting, the main entrance to the development flooded. Badly. Ditches designed to keep roads clear in a 5-year storm overflowed during a 1-year rain.

The next day when the storm clouds cleared, an aerial survey showed that Colony Ridge drainage channels and stormwater detention basins were badly damaged.

Had the developer simply followed Liberty County regulations, he could have reduced or avoided the costly damage.

Missing Erosion Controls

Section 50 of Liberty County’s Subdivision and Development regulations specifies requirements for construction of drainage ditches and stormwater detention basins.

The County emphasizes the need to control erosion and sedimentation. It warns these twin threats can have very serious effects on stormwater ditches and basins. Specifically, they can:

  • Cause slope failures
  • Reduce the efficiency of drainage channels
  • Clog drainage culverts
  • Reduce channel capacity
  • Reduce maintainability of drainage facilities
  • Increase maintenance costs
  • Require more frequent repairs
  • Increase turbidity
  • Impair water quality.

To counter these problems, the regulations say…

“Interceptor structures and backslope swale systems are required to prevent sheet flows from eroding the side slopes of open channels and detention facilities.”

Liberty County Subdivision and Development Regulations, Page 100

The diagram below explains how they work.

backslope interceptor design

The regulations also specify design requirements for these structures and other erosion control measures. Altogether, Colony Ridge apparently violated requirements for:

  • Backslope interceptor and swale systems
  • Bermuda grass on side slopes of channels and ditches
  • Erosion controls around outfall pipes
  • Geo-textile bedding under rip rap
  • Pilot channels at the bottom of detention basins
  • Maintenance strips
  • Storage of excavated dirt
  • Side-slope angles

Not all locations in Colony Ridge exhibit all problems. Regardless, karma was swift. Thursday’s 1-year rain severely eroded the side slopes of channels and basins. Eroded sediment also started filling in new ditches and basins.

Repairs and compliance – if attempted – will be costly and time consuming.

Karma Hurts Residents Upstream and Down

While critics might rejoice at the karma, others will pay the price. The developer’s practices increase flood risk for people in Colony Ridge as well as those downstream.

  • In the development, erosion threatens property.
  • Downstream, sediment reduces the conveyance of streams, increasing flood risk.

TCEQ has warned the developer about his construction practices before. But many dubious practices continue. See photos below.

The first two are NASA satellite images from Google Earth. I shot the rest on 10/6/23 with one exception.

Threat to Colony Ridge Residents

When a three-mile ditch down the center of Colony Ridge was completed, it was about 120 feet wide at the yellow line.

August 2017

Today, it’s 76 feet wider.

Residents on EACH side lost 38 feet of their back yards.

This ditch has steadily widened since its construction. Without backslope interceptor swales or grass to reduce erosion, millions of cubic feet of dirt swept downstream from this single ditch.

Then, when the water slowed at the headwaters of Lake Houston, the sediment dropped out of suspension, reducing the conveyance of the East Fork San Jacinto.

Here are several shots showing what that erosion damage looks like up close from a helicopter.

The ravine forms more ravines.
No room for a maintenance road here.
Or here.

Virtually every ditch in Colony Ridge has erosion and compliance problems. Here’s another one.

No maintenance road. No backslope interceptor swales. No grass on sides of ditch. Note: home on right has no back fence. What happened to it?
Note piles of dirt stored where they can erode back down into ditches.

Even detention basins in the newer sections of Colony Ridge have erosion problems. Again, most don’t have grass on the side slopes. Nor do they have backslope interceptor swales. Many, like the one below, don’t have room for maintenance roads.

Note the erosion threat already to these recently placed mobile homes in a newer section of Colony Ridge.
Erosion will soon threaten one of the new roads in Colony Ridge. Regs specify that rip rap like you see here should have had a geo-textile lining under it to reduce erosion.
Erosion washed sediment into new basin. Also note how erosion is starting to block the outfall at the lower right.
No backslope swales here. Not much Bermuda grass either. Regs say “side slopes shall be no steeper than 3 horizontal to 1 vertical (3:1).”
No grass or backslope interceptor system here. No pilot channels either.
Note piles of excavated dirt stacked on both sides of road, eroding back into ditches.

As all those ditches and basins gradually fill in, they will add to future flood risk.

But repairing such issues will be a big, costly challenge – one that the developer has ignored for years.

Threat to Downstream Residents

All this erosion also contributes to downstream flooding and likely violates Section 11.086 of the Texas water code. It states that “No person may divert … the natural flow of surface waters in this state … in a manner that damages the property of another…”

Where does all that eroded sediment eventually go? To Lake Houston, of course.

East Fork San Jacinto downstream from Colony Ridge on Thursday 10/5/23 – same day as shots above.

The river slows down where it meets the headwaters of Lake Houston. That causes sediment to drop out of suspension.

Harris County, City of Houston and the State just finished a major dredging effort on the East Fork that cost the public tens of millions of dollars.

Before dredging, it looked like this.

East Fork Mouth Bar after Imelda and before dredging. This bar grew 4,000 feet between Harvey and Imelda.

But the cost is only part of the issue. Reduction in the river’s conveyance contributed to the flooding of thousands of nearby homes during Harvey and Imelda.

Harris County Commissioners Court May Address Issues on Tuesday

Drainage is a public-safety issue. And it’s not the only one caused by the developer’s disregard for regulations.

  • Colony Ridge has filled in wetlands.
  • TCEQ has also documented problems with the Colony Ridge sewage system that led to a 48,000 gallons of fecal matter escaping into Lake Houston, the source of drinking water for 2 million people.
  • Colony Ridge does not have enough fire hydrants or water pressure to comply with the Liberty County fire code.

Harris County Commissioners Court may discuss these problems on Tuesday at the request of Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey, PE. See Item 406 on the Agenda.

The developer alleges that racism motivates criticism of his Hispanic development. But racism does not explain flooding, feces and fire.

The failure of a developer to follow regulations shouldn’t pit Liberty County against Harris County, rich against poor, or Democrats against Republicans.

We all suffer equally. We all face increased risk. And Colony Ridge is one issue where we should all find common cause.

I hope that Commissioners Courts in both counties support the legislature’s investigation into Colony Ridge. I also pray that both Counties can work together to protect all residents.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/8/23

2231 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.

Dredgers Still Nibbling Away at East Fork Mouth Bar

Mechanical dredging is sloooooooooow. Two months after my last dredging update, contractors are still working on the same portion of the East Fork Mouth Bar complex just north of the entrance to Luce Bayou. The sand bar is question is one of many in the area that popped up after Harvey and Imelda.

Pictures Taken on 1/28/22

I took the first three images below this morning.

Looking East across the San Jacinto East Fork from Kingwood toward Luce Bayou in upper right. North is to the left. Photo taken on 1/28/22.
Dredgers are now working on a small island just upstream from Luce. But there’s a lot of work yet to do. Photo taken on 1/28/22.

The San Jacinto East Fork Mouth Bar grew more than 4,000 feet in length during Harvey and Imelda. River depth was reduced to 3 feet, according to boaters. That reduced conveyance of the river and contributed to flooding of homes on both sides.

This damage map shows that almost 1300 homes flooded in the East Fork watershed during Harvey. However, it’s not clear how far upstream any backwater effect extended from the East Fork mouth bar.

Looking south, downstream toward Lake Houston and the FM1960 causeway. Photo taken on 1/28/22.

Earlier Images

Compare the photo above taken today to the one below taken two months ago.

Comparable shot taken on 11/30/21, two months ago.

Since November, dredgers have eliminated the remainder of the bar in the distance and reduced the size of the one in the foreground.

See a satellite image of the full bar below before dredging started.

Contractors have removed sediment from the area outlined in red since dredging began in October 2021.

It took three months just for contractors to dredge their way through the Royal Shores channel to get to East Fork (July, August, September 2021). East Fork dredging started in October last year. Removing sediment from the area in red above has taken four months. But it’s only a small portion of the work that needs to be done as you can see in the second image above that looks upstream.

Naturally, residents are asking, “How much more does the City intend to do?” The answer to that question is still unsettled.

Vendor for Long-Range Dredging Plan Still Not Decided

In August of last year, the City of Houston started searching for a consultant to develop a long-range dredging plan for Lake Houston. The timetable in the Request for Qualifications (Page 4) stated that the City hoped to select a vendor by November, approve the contract in December, and start work in January.

The project attracted a lot of attention. Thirteen companies expressed interest. And eleven signed up for a pre-bid conference. However, the purchasing agent for the City, Bridget Cormier, stated that “The City has not yet made a decision, nor a recommendation for award yet.” She explained, “We are still in the evaluation phase and have requested additional information from suppliers that moved forward in the process.”

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/28/2022

1613 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Lake Houston Dredging Starts Moving to East Fork

On Thursday last week, Stephen Costello, PE, the City of Houston’s Chief Recovery Officer, gave an update on Lake Houston dredging. Costello said that mechanical dredging was starting to move from the West Fork to the East Fork of the San Jacinto River.

Next Phase of Dredging Starting

This marks the beginning of the next phase in dredging after Harvey. Since 2018, dredgers have focused on the West Fork, which was 90% blocked by sediment in places, according to the Army Corps. The Corps and the City removed 2.9 million cubic yards of sediment from the West Fork. Now the focus will migrate to the East Fork, and then Lake Houston itself.

But to get to the East Fork mouth bar, dredgers must first deepen the channel south of Royal Shores that connects the two forks…or else take the long way around to the placement area.

Yellow dot represents most recent focus of dredging on West Fork. The dotted line branching off to the right through the channel is how dredger’s will get back and forth to the East Fork Mouth Bar (big yellow circle) and the placement area south of River Grove Park on the West Fork.

Channel Filled with Silt, Too

Costello said silt in the channel made it too shallow for pontoons and equipment to navigate back and forth safely.

Photos taken this afternoon show that the first equipment is starting to dredge the channel inside two ancient cutoff meanders of the West Fork.

Looking west toward West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge from over the channel connecting the West and East Forks.
Wider shot from farther back shows the dredge area within the cutoff meanders.
Looking East toward the East Fork and Luce Bayou (upper right).

As the last photo shows, at this time, no dredging activity has yet reached the East Fork.

Boaters: Exercise Caution Around Dredging Equipment

This cut-through is a popular shortcut for boaters. Boaters may wish to take the long way around for the next few months or, at a minimum, use extra caution. Those excavators have long arms and can turn suddenly. Remember: operators don’t have eyes in the backs of their heads. Make sure they acknowledge your presence before zipping past them.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/11/2021

1412 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Long-Term Lake Houston Dredging Plan in Development; West Fork Mouth-Bar 60 Percent Completed

In January, the City hired DRC Emergency Services, LLC (DRC) to begin mechanical dredging of the San Jacinto West Fork Mouth Bar. I’ve provided periodic updates on that. According to Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin, DRC has now officially completed 60% of that project.

In the meantime, other related dredging projects, including East Fork dredging and long-term Lake Houston maintenance dredging are reportedly taking shape. Here’s how pieces of the puzzle fit together. But one piece is still missing – long-term funding to pay for the maintenance dredging.

Two-Phase Program

DRC’s scope of work has two distinct phases:

  1. Phase One will remove accumulated materials near and at the mouth bar on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River.
  2. Phase Two will remove accumulated materials in the East Fork of the San Jacinto River AND other locations in Lake Houston.
West Fork Mouth Bar as of late June 2020.

During Phase One, 400,000 cubic yards of material will be removed over twelve months. To date, DRC has removed approximately 240,080 cubic yards of material. (See photo above.) That’s 60% in approximately 60% of the allotted time, so that part of the project is on schedule.

East Fork Mouth Bar as of May 2020. This areas went from 18 to 3 feet deep during Imelda, according to boater Josh Alberson. The above-water portion of this sand bar has grown three quarters of a mile since Harvey.

Phase Two of the project will consist of:

  • Hydrographic surveys of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, the East Fork of the San Jacinto River, and Lake Houston to determine dredge material volumes
  • City of Houston advertising and awarding a dredging contract to the lowest responsive bidder

Phase Two will run simultaneously with Phase One to expedite dredging. 

Dave Martin, Houston Mayor Pro Tem

Mayor Pro Tem Martin did not provide an update on where Phase Two currently stands. But residents have reported seeing survey boats on Lake Houston, and the East and West Forks of the San Jacinto.

Mouth bar forming at Rogers Gully on Lake Houston. Example of kind of projects being considered for Phase 2. Photo late June, 2020.

Long-Term Dredging Plan in Development

Additionally, during Phase Two, City of Houston and its partners will develop a long-term dredging plan for Lake Houston. City of Houston or the Coastal Water Authority will execute the plan.

The intention: to fund dredging operations in perpetuity.

This phased approach will obligate the full grant funding before the 87th legislative session in 2021. This grant funding was made possible thanks to State Representative Dan Huberty (District 127) through the passage of Senate Bill 500.

Mayor Pro Tem Martin credits Huberty for his dedication to the long-term maintenance dredging activities on Lake Houston. “Representative Huberty has been a champion for his residents and a great ally in seeing these additional dredging efforts come to fruition,” said Martin.

$40 Million Project

The total project is valued at $40 million (except for the perpetuity part). Funding for the immediate dredging projects comes through a combination of:

  • City of Houston Harvey Disaster dollars provided by Governor Greg Abbott
  • Grant dollars from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB)
  • Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) Bond Program.

Harris County Engineer, John Blount submitted the grant application for this project to the TWDB. But the City of Houston became a “subrecipient” and is now managing the project.

Long Term Funding – Still A Missing Piece of Puzzle

Lake Houston, a City of Houston asset, is losing capacity. Everyone has recognized that fact for decades. But as silt filled the rivers, inlets and lake, maintenance was deferred, reportedly for budgetary reasons. In 2017, during Harvey, the problem became so big that no one could ignore it anymore. Flooding was the immediate problem. But loss of water capacity is an even bigger, longer-term problem.

It’s one thing to have a long-term maintenance dredging plan and another to put it into action. But where will the money come from?

A tax on sand mines? Won’t work. Most aren’t in the City. Or even in Harris County.

Some have suggested creating a taxing district for lakefront homeowners. That won’t work either. Not enough of them. And it would create a stampede for the Oklahoma border. Moreover, it hardly seems fair; the lake is part of a City system that provides water to two million people and generates revenue.

The logical solution seems to be increasing the cost of water. Adding just a fraction of a penny per 1000 gallons should do it. Dredging isn’t just about reducing flooding. Or preserving views for lakefront homeowners. It helps preserve the lake’s capacity. And that benefits everyone.

As we develop a long-term dredging plan for the lake, we also need to consider a sustainable source of financing.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/12/2020 based, in part, on a release by Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin

1079 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Multiple Mouth Bars Forming Around Lake Houston; Check out Walden’s

Yesterday’s second post about the wettest AND driest decade in our lifetimes helped explain something I’ve been puzzling about. Multiple mouth bars are forming around Lake Houston. The loss of tens of thousands of trees during the drought exposed soil. One massive storm after another then washed that soil toward the lake. Voila! Mouth bars.

Diversion Ditch Blockage

We already cleared the massive side bar that blocked the mouth of Kingwood’s diversion ditch.

The ditch (center left) that empties the entire western part of Kingwood at River Grove Park on the west fork of the San Jacinto was virtually closed off by this sandbar that formed during Harvey. An estimated 500+ homes above this point flooded.

West Fork Blockage

The Army Corps removed about a fifth of the West Fork mouth bar.

Army Corps at work removing a small portion of the West Fork Mouth Bar. Photo courtesy of BCAeronautics.

East Fork Mouth Bar

But an East Fork Mouth Bar grew 4000 feet during Harvey and Imelda. It’s now almost blocking Luce Bayou, just as the Interbasin Transfer Project is nearing completion.

Water flows left to right.

Walden Blockage

And other drainage ditches are now plugging up, too, such as the one at Walden. This is symptomatic of many ditches that empty into Lake Houston.

Walden drainage ditch now blocked by its own growing mouth bar.

Here’s what it looks like from a drone from a lower altitude and angle. Video courtesy of Jack and Greg Toole.

Still shot from Jack and Greg Toole’s video. Used with permission.

Cause of Mouth Bars

This is not surprising for a man-made lake that’s 65 years old. Dams have a tendency to hold back sediment. Sediment drops out of suspension where the moving waters in a ditch or stream slow down as they meet the still waters of a lake.

These mouth bars increase flood risk for everyone who lives near them. They form sediment damns that restrict the conveyance of the channels behind them. That forces water up and out of the channel into people’s living rooms.

Clearing the Way for Political Solutions

So how do we get rid of these mouth bars?

State Representative Dan Huberty is organizing another dredging program that should start soon. Primary targets will be the West and perhaps East Fork Mouth mouth bars. These smaller bars represent, believe it or not, a larger problem though. They fall into a jurisdictional quagmire. Does the water body they are on belong to adjacent property owners, the City, the County, or the State?

That will determine where the money for dredging comes from. And more importantly, whether the money that is already available can be used to attack the problem when a dredge is in the lake.

The bar is in an unincorporated section of Harris County. But the City owns the shoreline, and usually the first few hundred feet of channels.

Who will take ownership of problems like Walden’s? These details still need to be worked out.

HB1824 May Help

Ironically, HB1824, which I criticized because I believe it opens the door to river sand mining, may help in cases like Walden’s. The bill allows Harris County Flood Control to take sediment from the San Jacinto and its tributaries without obtaining a permit or paying a fee as long as HCFCD deposits the sediment on private land. (Remember: Lake Houston IS the San Jacinto River.)

I suspect the Walden ditch will become precedent for how such minor tributaries are treated. Walden’s nearness to the West Fork mouth bar would argue for making it part of any dredging program there.

A new year, new challenges!

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/1/2020 with photo and video from Jack and Greg Toole, and BCAeronautics.

855 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 104 since Imelda

Photos of the Day #244

East Fork Mouth Bar after Harvey.
East Fork Mouth Bar today. Photo taken 12/3/2019, 2+ months after Imelda.

East Fork Mouth Bar Grows 4000 Feet During Harvey and Imelda

If you boat between the San Jacinto East Fork and Lake Houston, perhaps you’ve noticed it’s a little harder getting from A to B lately. The San Jacinto East Fork Mouth Bar has grown approximately four fifths of a mile during the last two storms and the channel depth has decreased 6X.

These three pictures tell the story dramatically.

I took the first after Hurricane Harvey and the second after Tropical Storm Imelda. The third comes from Google Earth BEFORE Harvey.

East Fork Mouth Bar After Harvey

Looking north toward Kings Point from the East Fork of the San Jacinto River after Harvey. Note fresh sand several feet deep everywhere. Photo taken 9/14/2017, two weeks after Harvey.

East Fork Mouth Bar After Imelda

Extent of East Fork Mouth Bar After Imelda. Photo taken 12/3/2019. Note in this photo how much closer the sandy bottom is to the surface throughout the entire area.

Pre-Harvey to Post-Imelda Growth

Satellite image from January 2017 BEFORE Harvey. Yellow line represents approximate growth in East Fork Mouth bar between then and today – about four fifths of a mile. For alignment purposes, note the tip of the Royal Shores Lake in the first aerial photo and Royal Shores in the second.

Boater Josh Alberson says the maximum channel depth in this area decreased from 18 feet after Harvey to 3 feet after Imelda.

Geologic Change on a Human Time Scale

Note how the leading edge of this growing bar is now almost even with the entrance to Luce Bayou. When we get another storm like Imelda, the East Fork Mouth Bar could block the Interbasin Transfer Project from delivering water to Lake Houston.

Changes like these usually happen on a geologic time scale. They happen so slowly, humans can barely perceive them during the course of a life time. However, Harvey and Imelda produced this change in two years. They provide us with a rare glimpse of a living planet in our own backyard.

If you have children, grandchildren or students, please share these photos with them. They make valuable life lessons about the power of moving water and respect for Mother Nature. They may also stimulate curiosity in Earth sciences and engineering.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/23/2019 with depth soundings from Josh Alberson

846 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 95 since Imelda

East Fork Mouth Bar Rapidly Developing

In the 2+ years since Hurricane Harvey, many East Fork residents complained that the West Fork was getting all the media attention and remediation dollars. Imelda may have just changed that narrative. An East Fork Mouth Bar rapidly increased in size during the storm.

Rapid Increase in Sedimentation Between Royal Shores and Luce Bayou

Between Luce Bayou and Royal Shores, Josh Alberson, an East Fork resident and boater says the channel recently measured as much as 18 feet deep. Last weekend, when checking cross-sections on the depth finder of his jet boat, the deepest part of the channel measured three to four feet in that same area. Here’s what it looks like from a helicopter pointing south toward Lake Houston and the FM1960 Bridge.

East Fork Mouth Bar. Photo taken one week after Imelda on 9/27/19.

It’s clear that portions of these bars preceded Imelda, just as portions of the West Fork Mouth Bar preceded Harvey. You can tell that by the vegetation. However, you can also see the immense recent growth of these bars in the areas without vegetation.

Shots taken from the boat show vast expanses of sand now clogging the East Fork.

Looking south toward the entrance to Lake Houston. Photo taken on 9/29/19. Channel between here and Luce Bayou (out of frame on the left) averaged 3-4 feet deep.
Looking west toward Royal Shores from same location. Photo taken 9/29/19.
Looking east toward Luce Bayou, I captured this shot of a dead tree on 9/29/19. It underscores how shallow the river is at this location. More than half the root ball sits above water.

Hundreds, Possibly Thousands of Trees Down

Upstream, hundreds, if not thousands of trees were uprooted by Imelda. The City and DRC had just completed removing such hazards. They did a thorough and beautiful job. However, Imelda will mean starting over…at least on the East Fork.

Giant Sand Bars Now Filling More than Half of River

The sand bar opposite East End Park migrated downstream. It also expanded outward and may have contributed to significant erosion on the parks northern shore. It now cuts off more than half the river. Not surprisingly The river appears to have migrated south in this area by at least 50 feet.
Opposite the massive sand bar above, entire trails have been washed away in East End Park. Beware of possible bank collapse. Very dangerous conditions exist on trails. Do not use the park until repairs have been completed.
The storm deposited other sand bars father upstream, like this one in the approximate area of Woodstream. It was just below where Taylor Gully enters the river at Dunham Road.

Fourth Breach Discovered at Sand Mine

Still unknown: how much of a role multiple breaches at the Triple PG mine played in sedimentation.

Charlie Fahrmeier discovered yet another breach at the mine on Monday; this one partial.

View of partial breach near north end of Triple PG mine from Caney Creek. Photo by Charlie Fahrmeier. Taken on 9/30/19.
Above the partial breach shown in the photo above. Fahrmeier says he found the grass all laying down in one direction indicating rushing water inundated it recently. Photo taken on 9/30/19.

Role of Sand Mine Under Investigation

Dan Huberty today announced that Ken Paxton, the state attorney general, has agreed to investigate the Triple PG mine. A spokesman for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said investigators were headed to the site today. The TCEQ has also launched an investigation.

Clearly, the mine is not responsible for all of the sand in the river. But its location in TWO floodways, four possible breaches, and loss of a major portion of its stockpile indicate it played some role in the massive sedimentation.

Looking south across the Triple PG Mine’s main stockpile. White Oak Creek swept in from the right and Caney Creek from the left. The stockpile measures approximately 20 acres and has risen to an estimated 90-100 feet at times. On this day, 9/27/19, it was much smaller. Whether that was due to erosion or sales is unknown. Notice all the equipment laying on its side to the right of the metal buildings.

Substantial Repairs?

After a breach in May, the mine simply dumped sand in the hole which quickly eroded again. Photo taken 9/29/19.

I doubt this meets the TCEQ requirements for substantial repairs.

Close up of breach repair. It appears to be nothing but sand. Photo 9/29/19.

Whether these repairs were intended to fail or whether the operator didn’t care if they failed, the result was the same. More sand in the river. And more gunk in your drinking water supply.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/2/2019 with thanks to Josh Alberson and Charlie Fahrmeier.

764 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 13 since Imelda

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