Power outage causes spill at Round Rock-area wastewater treatment plant

June 26, 2019 - 8:43 am

ROUND ROCK (Talk1370.com) -- A Sunday night power outage caused more than 100,000 gallons of untreated wastewater to leak into Brushy Creek, officials said.

City of Round Rock officials say a power failure just after 8 p.m. Sunday led to a failure at an influent lift station at the Brushy Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant, located in east Round Rock, is jointly owned and operated by the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Austin.

About 2,000 dead fish were found in the nearby creek; officials say the spill was stopped at 9:40 p.m. Sunday night. Cleanup efforts started Monday morning.

Officials say the power failure in the pump control system, and loss of backup power, caused all of the lift station pumps at the plant to shut down. The overflow occurred at a manhole just outside a fence near the southeast corner of the plant, south of U.S. 79 and west of Red Bud Lane.

Round Rock officials advise the following precautions:

  • Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within a half-mile of the spill site or within the potentially affected area should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing and tooth brushing. Individuals with private water wells should have their well water tested and disinfected, if necessary, prior to discontinuing distillation or boiling.
  • Persons who purchase water from a public water supply may contact their water supply distributor to determine if the water is safe for personal use.
  • The public should avoid contact with waste material, soil or water in the area potentially affected by the spill.
  • If the public comes into contact with waste material, soil or water potentially affected by the spill, they should bathe and wash clothes thoroughly as soon as possible.

The overflow has not affected the public drinking water supply and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has been notified. Residents who have questions about the spill should contact the Utilities and Environmental Services Department at (512) 844-9225.

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