1M gallons of wasterwater pours into Pflugerville creek

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — More than 1 million gallons of untreated wastewater overflowed from a water treatment plant and into Gilleland Creek on Sunday, the City of Pflugerville announced Monday.

A power outage is blamed for the overflow at the City of Pflugerville Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The City of Pflugerville tells us that the spill may have contaminated the water supply for some residents

Jogger Mark Moon was caught off guard when he learned what may be flowing through the creek next to him.  “I was surprised,” Moon said. “That’s not good for the environment, for sure.”

Map of the area affected by Pflugerville waste water discharge. (Courtesy: City of Pflugerville)
Map of the area affected by Pflugerville waste water discharge. (Courtesy: City of Pflugerville)

Workers at the Gilleland Creek Wastewater Treatment plant cleaned up the mess today, which city officials were thankful wasn’t worse.

“It passed through a dry pond, which was a fortunate situation because a lot of the waste that did overflow was caught and trapped in the pond before it actually reached the creek,” Assistant City Manager of Pflugerville Tom Word said.

Word says the spill could impact some people’s drinking water supply.

“If you’re on city water supply, you’re fine,” Word said. “We are advising that anyone within a half-mile that’s using a private well for their water to boil their water”

The main area impacted was Gilleland Creek, including the section that runs through NE Metro Park in Pflugerville. And while officials say the water supply for most is okay, you should still use caution.

“Give it 24 hours before you decide to go frolic in the creek,” Word said.

Pflugerville officials plan to continue working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to evaluate the environmental impact.

“You’ve got fish in the water and a nice environment out here and you want to keep it clean and maintain it,” Moon said.

The city says anyone living within 1/2 mile and 1 mile south of the affected area should take the following precautions:

  1. Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within ½ mile of the spill site or within the potentially affected area should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing, and tooth brushing.  Individuals with private water wells should have their well water tested and disinfected, if necessary, prior to discontinuing distillation or boiling.
  2. Persons who purchase water from a public water supply may contact their water supply distributor to determine if the water is safe for personal use.
  3. The public should avoid contact with waste material, soil, or water in the area potentially affected by the spill.
  4. If the public comes into contact with waste material, soil, or water potentially affected by the spill, they should bathe and wash clothes thoroughly as soon as possible.

If you think you may be impacted by this spill, call the Pflugerville Public Works department at at (512) 252-2447.

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