Heavy rains bring sewage spills across Plano

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 7:18 PM

PLANO - This week's heavy rains left behind a smelly, disgusting mess in Plano.

The aging sewer system is having problems with overflows, sending raw sewage onto city streets and creeks.

Greg and Julie Rosener live adjacent to White Rock Creek Trail Park in west Plano. They walk the trails every day. On Tuesday, when Greg Rosener walked his dog, he stumbled upon a very disturbing sight with a powerful stench: raw sewage pouring out of not one, but two different manholes.

"It was going into that area, and then going right down into that stream and into White Rock Creek," Mr. Rosener said. "And it was a little smelly."

The Plano family says this isn't the first time they've seen raw sewage overflowing at the park.

"And I was quite alarmed, thinking about where that water flows down, and where it would empty into," Mrs. Rosener said.

Plano public works officials say sewage overflowed at seven different locations Tuesday. Most of them were near creeks. They told us their sanitary sewer system is aging and deteriorating. Some pipes are more than 50 years old.

Earlier this week, four-and-a-half inches of rain fell in less than 12 hours. Runoff water saturated the ground and went into the sewers through cracks, causing the overflows.

Mike Karnish lives two houses from another spill off Peachtree Lane in east Plano. He says with raw sewage flowing into neighborhoods, he's concerned about public health.

"And I'm spending my tax dollars on this stuff," Karnish said. "I believe we should spend more tax dollars to get fixed, because of the concerns."

The Plano Public Works Department does routine inspections of their sewer pipelines and make repairs when they find problems. They told us while they would very much like to repair all their aging lines, it would be a very expensive venture.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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