Drainage issues raise new worries in Keller

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 21 at 6:17 PM

 KELLER – Keller homeowners are learning that water worries run downhill, bringing fears of the West Nile virus along with them.

Residents first called News 8 in November 2011 when a new development moved in across Chandler Road. At the time, they were concerned about trash in the water and sinking fence lines along the drainage easement.

Now it's August 2012, and the water remains. Sometimes it's coated with mosquito larvae.

Pam Sellers put on her rubber boots to slog through the mess on Tuesday, fearful of what the next step might bring.

"One of our big concerns with the kids," she said, bracing herself from a near fall.  "If they come down here and get stuck in it."

She says water from her newest neighbors leaves the drainage easement a boggy swamp year round.

In June, Ray West took photos of the standing water in the easement. They appear to show larvae floating on the surface.

"With all the scare of the west nile virus, we are very concerned about that," Sellers said.

Since the photos were taken, Keller has reported eight human cases of West Nile, and is not taking part in spraying programs.

The city manager would not go on camera to answer questions, but told News 8 the area is one of 85 locations it monitors and treats with mosquito dunks.  He says it was treated last week before the Saturday rain storm.

Steve Polasek said someone would check the area again when the rain cleared and the water was still.

As for fixing the runoff from across the street, Polasek said the water has always been there and improvements are not in the budget.  He said the city regularly maintains the easement with mowing.

Sellers said the city only mows when enough neighbors complain. "I believe it's been eight weeks."

She says the last time the city mowed, its equipment got stuck in the mud.

West and Sellers have vowed to keep an eye on the water and continue to ask for drainage improvements. They know what the next storm will bring and what the standing water leaves behind.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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