Workers Repair Sewer Line Underneath Hurricane Creek

by Ramonica R. Jones

There's a big mess in Grace Dunne Richardson Park. A jogger on the Azalea Trail noticed some type of liquid bubbling out of Hurricane Creek. The spill was sewer water coming from an old pipe that had burst underneath the creek.

Assistant City Manager Keith Wright said, "This is one of the major intercept lines for the City of Lufkin. It is a 36-inch line flowing about three quarters full, and it's a main line directly to our sewer treatment plant on [FM] 324."

Workers are now using pumps to bypass that section of pipe, keeping sewer away from the water. "There's no more sewer going in [Hurricane Creek] now," said Wright. "There is fresh water in the creek, which will help. We have put in chlorine to kill any bacteria, and we're notifying the public just to make them aware of the situation."

"There is no danger to people who work and live near Grace Dunne [Richardson] Park. The good news is there's a lot of run off [and a] lot of fresh water, which will dilute that condition [of the creek]. There's the danger of taking oxygen out of the creek and things like that, but the more fresh water that gets in there, the less impact to the environment," Wright added.

City engineers estimate more than 100,000 gallons of sewage flowed into Hurricane Creek. They're encouraging park visitors to stay away from the Azalea Trail until it's all cleaned up. The total cost of cleanup is expected to cost about a $100,000 and take at least two weeks. That includes replacing the burst pipe and getting the sewer water out of Hurricane Creek.