City fixes pipe after sewage spills into Gainesville creek

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GAINESVILLE, Tex. (KXII) A leak in a sewage pipe causes contaminated water, toilet paper, and feminine products to pour into a Gainesville creek.

"There was toilet paper coming out of there tampons, there is the pipe there is it all pouring out of there," said Christy Schutt, who visited Elm Fork Creek near Leonard Park last Thursday to fish Sand Bass.

Schutt had been fishing for three days before she learned about the leak.

"It was disgusting! I was going to eat them and we wound out having to throw them out. That's a lot of fish we had to throw away," Schutt said.

A city worker discovered the leak during a routine maintenance check on Friday and got to work fixing it.

"At this point in time we have the actual discharge stopped so there is no more sewage dumping into the creek," said Tony Smith who works for the Gainesville Public Works Department.

He says crews used sandbags in the upstream sewer manhole to contain the sewage.

Now that they've repaired the pipe and stopped the leak, he says there's no need for residents to worry.

"With the dilution and the amount that was being pout into it, at this time I don't think there is any possibility of contamination," Smith said.

The line repair is expected to cost the city about $28,000 and should be finished by Thursday morning.

The City of Gainesville did post about the leak on their Facebook page Tuesday morning but Schutt says that wasn't enough and not everyone was made aware.

"There are children swimming in this water, playing in this water, everyone's fishing, people are eating this fish and they didn't tell anyone," Schutt said.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality took water samples on Monday and should get the results back early next week, but tell us since none of the fish have died they don't believe there's any risk to the public.

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