FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kingwood Central Wastewater Treatment Plant
HOUSTON, TX - Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin would like to make Kingwood residents aware of a news release issued by Mayor Sylvester Turner related to the Kingwood Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is operated by a third-party company, Inframark.
In January, the District E Office began to receive complaints from the community regarding an intrusive smell throughout the Kingwood Area. These resident complaints were reported directly to Houston Public Works and monitored by the District E Office. Mayor Pro Tem Martin worked with Houston Public Works Director Carol Haddock and the Houston Public Works Government Relations Office to prioritize action at the Kingwood Central Wastewater Treatment Plant to remediate the odor as quickly as possible. Due to Mayor Pro Tem Martin’s due diligence working with Mayor Turner, Houston Public Works Department discovered irregularities in both plant operations and corresponding regulatory compliance which were turned over for investigation by the Houston Police Department’s Environmental Crimes Unit and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
The District E Office responded to all phone calls, emails, and social media providing as much information as possible so not to interfere with the ongoing investigation and be mindful of the Houston Police Department’s request to not share information broadly until subpoenas were issued. Houston Police Department’s request was made out of an abundance of caution to protect against the possible destruction of evidence by parties being subpoenaed.
Ultimately, Houston Police Department launched an investigation around allegations of falsified government documents and compliance samples. Today, the Houston Police Department served an evidentiary search warrant related to this investigation. The City of Houston has and will continue to work with TCEQ to take necessary steps to minimize any impact to the residents of Kingwood and to the environment. The City will continue to monitor the facility closely. Kingwood residents will not experience any disruption in water or wastewater service.
The Kingwood Central Wastewater treatment plant had an equipment malfunction the week of January 23 and is now under normal operations. Addressing the odor requires improving the “transfer efficiency” of oxygen as the amount of air pushed into the wastewater system directly impacts the amount of odor generated.
- Short Term - there were/are leaks in the air distribution and header systems that are/have been addressed
- Longer Term – modification to the headers system to add an additional blower to avoid these plant upsets
Mayor Pro Tem Martin appreciates the swift response of Houston Public Works and the Houston Police Department to ensure the safety of our drinking water and wastewater treatment plant operations. Houston’s drinking water systems have not been affected by this matter and remain SAFE.