HOUSTON (AP) — Federal regulators have raised water quality concerns about Houston raw sewage spills following storms as repair estimates reach several billion dollars.
The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2bZdoQw ) reports Houston's roughly 840 annual overflows have drawn scrutiny from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Chronicle reviewed 46 ZIP codes, in city data since 2009, with above-average rates of sewer overflows. The analysis shows two-thirds also have higher poverty rates and larger concentrations of Hispanic or blacks than Houston as a whole.
Houston is negotiating a consent decree with the EPA. The agreement would specify projects aimed at reducing spills by upgrading pipes, increasing maintenance and educating the public on not clogging Houston's 6,700 miles of sewers.
The newspaper reports the cost could top $5 billion.
City officials declined comment, citing the EPA negotiations.
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com