The city of Galveston on Tuesday released 135,000 gallons of wastewater sludge into Galveston Bay because of an equipment failure at the city’s main wastewater treatment plant, officials said.

The unit where the failure occurred has been removed, and city officials are meeting with the manufacturer to discuss how it happened, city spokeswoman Jaree Fortin said.

“We are in discussions with the manufacturer to identify the problem and correct it,” Fortin said.

The spill occurred west of the Pelican Island Bridge at the main wastewater treatment plant, 5200 Industrial Road. Officials noticed the sludge release 10 minutes after it started, Fortin said.

Eastex Environmental Laboratory will receive water samples for testing, but no effects to aquatic life are known at this time, Fortin said.

The release has no impact on the city’s drinking water, Fortin said. City officials on Tuesday still encouraged people to avoid waste material, soil or water in the area affected by the spill. 

A similar release at the main wastewater treatment plant last occurred in August 2016 because of a faulty valve.

Samantha Ketterer: 409-683-5241; or on Twitter at @sam_kett 


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