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Huntsville Wastewater Treatment Facility Spill at Elkins Lake

by City of Huntsville staff

On March 28, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., 6.21 inches of rainfall from severe thunderstorms in less than 24 hours caused heavy flooding in the lake area of the Elkins Lake Subdivision. A number of manholes were completely submerged, which led to vast quantities of runoff water entering the wastewater collection system. The two pumps in the Elkins Lake #3 Dam Lift Station could not keep up with the incoming water which resulted in an unauthorized discharge of 142,800 gallons into Lake Raven. Calculations indicate that about 90% of the overflow consisted of around 128,520 gallons of storm water (mostly rain water) and roughly 10% or nearly 14,280 gallons of the flow being wastewater. Once the storm water subsided, the lift station continued normal operation and met the demand placed on it, beginning at 12:00 p.m. on March 29.
At no time did the lift station pumps fail or stop running. The two lift station pumps pumped 2.36 million gallons of wastewater during the 24-hour time frame, to be treated at the N. B. Davidson Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The area potentially affected included an uninhabited and non-residential portion of the Sam Houston National Forest 1¾ miles south of Elkins Lake #3 Dam. City officials expect the impact to the public to be minimal as there are no public or private sources of drinking water within the affected area.
Appropriate local government officials and the Texas Commission on Environment Quality’s (TCEQ) regional office were notified on March 29, per state statute. For further information, please contact Daryl Uptmore, Public Works Director, at DUptmore@HuntsvilleTX.gov.


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