Raw sewage creates hazard for Levelland neighborhood

Published: Jul. 13, 2015 at 3:19 AM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 2:26 PM CDT
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Mendez Jr.
Mendez Jr.

LEVELLAND, TX (KCBD) - In West Levelland, a health hazard emerges in one neighborhood every time it rains.

Raw sewage seeps out of a manhole and into the streets between Avenue N and 11th Street.

"I thought it was my sewer line, but it wasn't," said area resident, Jesse Vela. "It sometimes fills my backyard with all that sewage water."

Vela cannot even escape the stench if he goes inside his home.

"It comes up from the drain," he said, "and comes up through the house, smelling like sewer."

John Timmons lives beside Vela, and said this is a problem they have struggled with since 2009.

"I think it's a health hazard," Timmons said. "The kids come by here playing around, kids on bikes from down the street. I had to stop them from playing on it on their bikes because it's sewage."

Timmons finally took to social media to post his frustration with the issue, and complained to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality last week. The TCEQ began an investigation shortly after and even took test samples from the bacteria-infested water.

"I've talked to some of the city reps out here about it and they tell me they're working on it, but the problem is the playa lake that's across the street," Timmons said. "That's the issue. They have to wait for that to dry up to fix the problem. My deal is the playa lake has not been there the whole time since 2009."

After the TCEQ visited the scene, city crews proceeded to vacuum the remaining water and dispersed chlorine pellets on the streets.

Levelland City manager Rick Osborn said the TCEQ told him everything is "fine and taken care of".
Once everything dries out, he said they plan to replace the manholes and lines in that neighborhood.

Since Timmons spoke out, city councilman Manuel Mendez Jr. also took notice. He has visited the area multiple times sense and wants to ensure the polluted water dries up once and for all.

"When I see things like this happening, it just really does upset me.," he said. "I'm going to fight for the people I feel like deserve to be treated as equal as anyone else in this community."

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