Fort Worth Pipe Failure Causes Sanitary Sewer Overflow into Lake Arlington
By Office of Communications
Posted on February 01, 2024, February 01, 2024

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Editor's Note: The sanitary sewer overflow described in the article below was stopped on Feb. 4. Clean-up efforts by the City of Fort Worth are ongoing. Click here to visit the Fort Worth Water website for more information.

A Fort Worth sewer pipe failure is causing a release of wastewater into Lake Arlington. Fort Worth has emergency contractors on-site and working around the clock to stop the overflow and repair the damaged pipe. The pipe failure is on a 30-foot deep, 54-inch sewer main that is located south of Rosedale Street and west of the Arlington city limits.

Lake Arlington is a drinking water source for both the City of Arlington and the Trinity River Authority’s Tarrant County Water Supply Project. TCWSP supplies drinking water to the cities of Bedford, Colleyville, Euless, Grapevine and North Richland Hills.

The overflow has not affected the quality or integrity of the water provided to TCWSP customers. At this time, TCWSP has not seen any concerns as a result of the samples taken. TRA will continue to test samples until the overflow stops, and there is no longer an issue.

Drinking water for the City of Arlington is not affected by the overflow. As is typical for winter, all of Arlington’s tap water is being treated at the John F. Kubala Water Treatment Plant, located off of U.S. 287 in South Arlington. The Kubala Water Treatment Plant receives water directly from reservoirs in East Texas through a Tarrant Regional Water District pipeline. Arlington’s Pierce-Burch Water Treatment Plant, which receives water from Lake Arlington, has been offline since November.

On Monday, Fort Worth crews determined the cause of the overflow was not rainfall but a pipe collapse. At that time, limited bypass pumping was put in place and an emergency contractor was brought in to oversee the repairs and establish a more extensive bypass pumping system.

The size and depth of the line make the resolution of the overflow and the repairs complex. The overflow is occurring because a portion of the pipe collapsed, resulting in debris blocking the flow of wastewater. This blockage forced the wastewater out of the lowest manhole along the sewer line.

 Fort Worth, Arlington, and the Trinity River Authority are monitoring the lake water quality.

 Each organization is conducting extra water quality testing to ensure water quality safety measures are met. The three jurisdictions will coordinate regarding any lake park closures or impacts to recreational activities that may be deemed to be necessary based on water quality testing and public safety.

 Customers’ safe drinking water is the highest priority for all three entities.

 Fort Worth officials are providing Arlington and TRA officials with regular progress updates.

 While the overflow was discovered on Sunday, it was not determined to be a pipe failure until Monday.

 The public should avoid contact with waste material, soil, or water in the area potentially affected by the spill. If the public comes into contact with waste material, soil, or water potentially affected by the spill, they should bathe and wash clothes thoroughly as soon as possible.

 The water utility has notified the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and required elected officials of these discharges.

 People using private drinking water supply wells located within 1/2-mile of a spill site or within a potentially affected area should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing, and tooth brushing. Individuals with private water wells should have their well water tested and disinfected, if necessary, prior to discontinuing distillation or boiling.

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