As of Friday afternoon, the amount of wastewater discharged into the bayou was the highest since the 1950s, according to a tally by the Texas Department of Transportation.
That number is higher than any time since 1980.
“This is the largest ever release in Texas,” said Brian Smith, a spokesperson for the TxDOT.
Smith said that over the past month, the Texas Water Development Board has been working with local officials and water companies to address the problem.
In addition to the wastewater discharge, the TDFB is trying to reduce the amount coming into the port.
It has ordered the port to use an automated pump system to remove the wastewater.
But the pump system is only capable of removing one cubic foot of wastewater per second, and the agency is considering installing another automated system.
Smith said that the agency also is planning to install a new automated sewage pump in order to reduce wastewater discharges to the bay.
“We are looking at it as a tool to reduce volumes in the bay,” Smith said.
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Smith has been on the TdfT board since July.
He said the TfDOT has been monitoring wastewater flows for months and is working to reduce them.
“In some cases, we’ve seen some of the worst excesses that we’ve ever seen,” he said.
Smith said the water in the waterway is getting closer to being fully treated.
“It’s the most polluted bayou in Texas, and it’s getting cleaner,” he told The Houston Chronicle.
“The fact that the Teflon coating on the water is finally being able to wear off means the water can start to flow again.
We’re just seeing some really good progress on that front.”