GALVESTON — A sewer line failure in a neighborhood off Harborside Drive led to the uncontrolled release of hundreds of gallons of sewer water last month.

On June 13, the city notified the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality of the sanitary sewer overflow at 414 81st St. in the Channelview neighborhood.

City officials said about 250 gallons of sewage leaked out of a manhole cover. It is unclear how much of the water was released into Galveston Bay. The city’s report to the commission said there was no potential danger to human health and safety or the environment.

A sanitary sewer overflow is an “unauthorized discharge of untreated or partially treated wastewater from a collection system” before it reaches a wastewater treatment facility, according to the agency’s website.

The area has been a focus of the city in recent months as it attempts to repair its aging sewer systems. It also has been the source of citizen complaints.

Channelview resident Patti Buckley said Friday that residents had been complaining to the city about an unpleasant smell for months.

“The odor is really bad,” Buckley said. “You walk outside and you can’t even sit outside. “It’s really, really bad.”

Other neighbors said they witnessed the June 13 overflow run down the street and into Galveston Bay, where it formed an oily slick more than half a mile long.

In April, the city council approved $385,069 to repair 1,300 feet of failed sewer line on Harborside Drive between 77th Street and Interstate 45 at the railroad track.

In an email statement, city spokesperson Elizabeth Rogers said the line would be replaced Monday.

Rogers said since the line failure, the city has been maintaining the area with tanker trucks.

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or


(2) comments

Shelly Pearl


Michael Culpepper

Oh shit.

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