Tag Archive for: white

The Day That the San Jacinto West Fork Turned White

On Monday, November 4, I flew up the San Jacinto West Fork in a helicopter and was shocked by what I saw. The West Fork had turned milky white. Here are a series of shots starting at the confluence of the West Fork and Spring Creek and heading upstream. Spring Creek angles off to the top of the frame; the West Fork goes right.

Starting at the 59 Bridge…

Note the difference in color between Spring Creek and the West Fork, angling off the right side of the frame. Also note for contrast the normal looking browning water going into the West Fork from the woods at the bottom.
As we turned up the West Fork, I took this shot. Note the color of the pond at the top of the frame for comparison.
This is the first sand mine going upstream. Note the difference in the water heights between the pit (top) and the river bottom. Also note the pipe sending mine wastewater into the West Fork.

Moving North Past the First Mine

A little farther upstream, though, the water was still white.
I debated on adjectives: chalky or milky?

At the Hallett Mine North of Northpark Drive

The Hallett pond on the west side of the river was emptying into the West Fork. Hallett is north of Northpark Road off Sorters.
On the northern side of the Hallett Mine, we spotted this giant breach that had also been open in October. Notice the eroded shoreline opposite the breach. Water must have shot out of that pit with some force.
This was as far north as we went: the northernmost part of the Hallett Mine. Note the color of the pond on the right for contrast. The water looked less white than farther downstream, but still far from its normal brownish color that you see in the pond.

TCEQ Investigating White West Fork

I don’t think we ever found the source of the whitish discoloration although we found several mines contributing to it. When we got to the northern part of the Hallett Mine, time, fuel and air traffic restrictions dictated that we break off the exploration. So…

These photos were sent to the TCEQ and SJRA for investigation. This is the major source of Houston’s drinking water, folks!

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/7/2019

800 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The 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.