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Old 09-21-2008, 09:16 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,764 times
Reputation: 11

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I live on Buffalo Bayou where Fondren crosses it. It is stinking. In about 5 minutes at least 30 large dead fish are floating by. The ordor is horrendeous. I understand from the Chronicle today that the lift stations are not working and raw sewage is flowing into it. So on top of the sewage, we have dying fish and other animals. I am worried about our dog and cat. What is the safety factor? Can there be a danger from the air? Should I move out? Please tell me what you know or who I should talk to about this.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:56 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 18,209,779 times
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With the power out, many utilities are scrambling to prevent sewage from backing up into homes and into the streets by manually pumping the lift stations or using generators on them. Likewise the treatment plants are not functioning. If the waste can get to the plant, they are just passing it through maybe with a little bit of manual chlorination (not guaranteed) and discharging it. Not much else they can do right now. (Layman's version) The raw sewage is nutrient rich and will eat up the available oxygen which in turn suffocates the poor little fish. Their are also additional issues with high ammonia, pH, bacteria and solids.

Right now, the best thing to do is stay away from the bayou or any sewage discharges. If you are exposed to the water, clean with a 1 part bleach/10 parts water solution. The odor is annoying and unpleasant, but it is not dangerous. It will take a while for the ecosystem to absorb this shock after the power comes back on, but it will recover.

To report this situation, call the City of Houston at 311. I am pretty sure they know about the problem already but it never hurts.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:29 AM
 
Location: I-35
1,806 posts, read 4,310,902 times
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Also the addicks reservior is smelling like sewage out on Eldridge and I-10 looking like a sewage lake or swamp.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Clear Lake, Houston TX
8,376 posts, read 30,693,271 times
Reputation: 4720
Is Hepatitis a concern? I'm not sure how it works, and there are many variants of Hepatitis, but I'd look into it and get vaccines.

The reason you can smell sewage odors is because tiny particles are entering your nose. This can be said for any odor though.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:57 AM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 18,209,779 times
Reputation: 2092
Quote:
Originally Posted by tstone View Post
Is Hepatitis a concern? I'm not sure how it works, and there are many variants of Hepatitis, but I'd look into it and get vaccines.

The reason you can smell sewage odors is because tiny particles are entering your nose. This can be said for any odor though.
Not a problem unless you get into the water or an aerosol. The waterborne pathogens die off in air. The odor is from the ammonia, methane, CS2 and other gasses being formed from the breakdown of the sewage.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Clear Lake, Houston TX
8,376 posts, read 30,693,271 times
Reputation: 4720
What about Hepatitis traveling through water vapor, in the early morning when humidity is near or at 100%? It may be a little far fetched but..... wondering if that's even possible.

I guess a good idea is to stay as far away from that bayou as possible. (I use that rule even without the current contamination issues.)
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Katy, TX
1,288 posts, read 4,936,056 times
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No, hepatitis really isn't a concern to the general public. You've gotta be almost bathing in sewage to get that. Wastewater treatment operators generally get the vaccine as a precaution, but I never got it and many others like me in the wastewater profession never got the shots and I've never met anyone that's contracted it. The higher risk is for conjuctivitis and other common colds/viruses if you hang around sewage, but really I don't think the bayous are THAT contaminated at this point. I haven't heard of any major plant upsets caused by the storm...and being in the industry I usually hear about them.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:01 PM
 
Location: ✶✶✶✶
15,216 posts, read 30,548,129 times
Reputation: 10851
Buffalo Bayou is contaminated? Stop the presses, we've got a news break on our hands.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:03 PM
 
Location: DFW Texas
3,127 posts, read 7,627,561 times
Reputation: 2256
Its a waterway in the middle of a major metropolitan city, of course its gonna be contaminated! Just don't do drinking the water or taking a bath in it and you should be fine. If it stinks too bad just throw on enough cologne on yourself to drown it out. Who knows, maybe you'll get a couple of numbers!
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