Tag Archive for: exposed HVL pipelines

Five Exposed HVL Pipelines Go Undercover; More Wetlands Drained

Five pipelines carrying highly volatile liquids (HVL) through the utility corridor that crosses the LMI River Road sand mine in Conroe have been buried again. Repairs have almost finished. Last Friday, crews were removing construction equipment and cleaning up. This significantly reduces risk to the public from a pipeline leak, rupture or explosion.

Erosion Triggered by Mining Too Close to Utility Corridor

Erosion from the mine first exposed the pipelines in 2014. The pipelines and mine reportedly argued about the fix in court for years. But after publication in December of aerial photos showing shoddy temporary fixes and badly sagging pipelines, residents lodged numerous complaints with the TCEQ, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Texas Railroad Commission, and the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Materials Stockpiled by January

Major repairs started in January. Contractors started stockpiling culvert, riprap, sand and other construction materials onsite.

Start of repairs. Photo taken January 20, 2020.

Construction Half Done in Mid-February

Construction was well underway a month later in February.

February 13, 2020

Cleanup Begins Early March

Last Friday, it was all over but the cleanup. Of course, cleanup in a sandmen is a relative term.

Looking north at utility corridor and pipeline repairs from over the mine’s main pit. This photo and those below taken on March 6, 2020.
Looking south toward main pit and river. Water flows from behind the camera position into these inlet pipes. Note the concrete overflow spillway to reduce future erosion.
A ditch not channels water to the new culverts. It also intercepts water flowing south toward the river (upper left).
Where the ditch turns toward the culvert, it appears to be 10 to 15 feet deep.
Reverse shot. Looking NE. Unfortunately, mining and erosion seem to have drained the wetlands.

Clogged Culvert a Future Risk

A big issue in the future may be sediment clogging the culverts.

Looking at all the sediment spewing from the culverts, one has to worry a bit about those culverts becoming clogged with sand and silt. No shortage of that around here!

Sadly, the wetlands lost since this episode started might have prevented some of that erosion.

Thanks to everyone who wrote regulatory agencies and complained about this situation. It helped produce a quick, happy resolution. Let’s chalk one up in the win column.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/11/2020

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