Century-old pipes cause major problems for city of Palestine

Century-old pipes cause major problems for city of Palestine
"This was all black, this was all disgusting and smelled like sewer," Palestine citizen Joe Anthony says.

PALESTINE, Texas (KLTV) - Century-old pipes in Palestine took a big hit during recent severe storms. Wastewater was flooding the streets last week, and now that it has been cleaned up, the city has a decision to make.

“This was all black, this was all disgusting and smelled like sewer,” Palestine citizen Joe Anthony says, referring to a nearby creek.

Anthony says he was a part of the crew that had to pump raw sewage out of Wells Creek last week.

“I pulled out a mattress, it still had sheets on it, stuff like that, and these are the things that came up from up the river,” Anthony says.

The streets of Old Palestine flooded last week and now the city is blaming the old pipes.

“We’ve got some stuff that is over, well over, 100 years old still in service,” Palestine Public Works Director Tim Perry says.

The aging water lines can’t take a hit like they used to, and now the city is faced with a very expensive challenge.

“We have to get to a routine maintenance program that we can fund to replace our infrastructure, our aging infrastructure,” Perry says.

Part of the water infrastructure was replaced almost 20 years ago and that project cost the city $18,000,000.

“That can tell you how big of a project we are looking at,” Perry says.

One option the city may have to look at is having to propose a city-wide water rate increase.

And resident Randi Stringham says she’s all for it if it helps to fund a permanent solution to a very long-running issue.

“Anything that is mine to donate to it, then I am all over it,” Stringham says.

Perry says the Palestine City Council is on board with trying to make infrastructure their priority.

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