What’s Dripping into Brays Bayou from Under the Gulf Fwy.

Leaking Pipe Under Gulf Fwy. at Brays Bayou, Sylvan Dell, East End, Houston

There’s a busted pipe hanging under the Gulf Fwy. overpass as it crosses Brays Bayou, just east of Telephone Rd. and south of Idylwood in the East End. The pics shown here were taken late yesterday afternoon, though some sort of liquid had been seen dripping from the break at various points over the weekend.

Grassy remnants of last week’s high water on Brays Bayou can still be seen hanging from various points along the pipe’s length:


Leaking Pipe Under Gulf Fwy. at Brays Bayou, Sylvan Dell, East End, Houston

“Whatever’s pouring out of there is foul,” notes a smeller-by. “I can’t tell whether it’s wastewater or graywater, but there’s a great deal of semi-dissolved paper and other bits of things I didn’t want to examine. It smells rancid. Worse, it’s splashing and slurrying down into the bayou.

Leaking Pipe Under Gulf Fwy. at Brays Bayou, Sylvan Dell, East End, Houston

Photos: Allyn West


9 Comment

  • This appears to be a city-owned sanitary line servicing the parcels along the northbound feeder road between Griggs and the Bayou. So yes, it’s poop. Hopefully Mr. West called 311.

  • You DON’T want to know !!!!

  • This makes me furious. A buddy bought a run down apartment community that’s been in poor shape for maybe 10+ years. Started fixing it up right away. Bringing down units up to code. Getting permits for required upgrades. Kicking out squatters, etc.
    About two months after buying (that keep in mind has been a dump for years), a sewage line breaks. The tenant calls the city. The city guy comes out and says “fix this and get a specialized remediation company to come and treat any sewage that went into the city drain” (paraphrasing). They say “No problem. We’ll do whatever it takes to fix it.”
    Next day, a licensed plumbing company come out and jet the pipes. Digs a bunch of them up. Make a ton of repairs to the whole system. Once fixed, one of those specialized suggested companies comes and treats the ground and vacuums up what went into the storm drain.
    Problem solved? Later they learn that the city decided to come after them guns blazing, trying to indite people with multiple felonys (!) as if this was a case of some big company that was knowingly pumping waste into the storm drain, rather than a case of an owner trying this best to fix up a bad property who quickly responded to an issue that came up.
    So I assume the the city is going to be charged with a felony for this pipe breaking? Yeah. Didn’t think so.
    And yesterday one of the Montrose bar owners that has a huge hand in cleaning up and revitalizing that area described his nightmare dealings with the city. It’s a shame. I don’t know the solution.

  • What’s the diff between “graywater” and “wastewater?”

  • Sewerage is poop.
    Greywater is used water but not from toilets – washing machines, kitchen sink and dishwasher, and sometimes the shower.
    Now, if you pee in the shower, there’s no difference.

  • My understanding is that:
    Grey water = shower / bath water, dishwashing water, kitchen water, gutter water, etc… That generally does not contain pathogens, but is not potable / drinkable water. People in water challenged states often re-use grey water for gardens & lawns.

    Brown water = toilet water that in addition to pooh and urine can contain pathogens like cholera, e. Cholie etc…is not safe to contact or re-use. Must be treated before it is released.

    Often in RV’ s or boats there is a separate pipe system for grey and brown water. Grey water can be discharged but brown water can ONLY be safely sent to a sanitary sewer.

    Waste water or sewer water = some combination of grey and brown water aka sanitary sewer water depending upon the design of the municipale sewer system. This is sent to treatment plant before release.

    Storm water = street and roof rain water run off that in Houston gets sent untreated to the bayous.

    All of these waters have piping connections that are opposite from potable water connections, so you really have to want to connect waste water / non-potable water pipe to a potable water pipe. Check it out at your local Big box store.

  • Doghouse is correct about the difference between gray water, brown (or black) water, and storm water. But it’s worth noting that in most buildings, gray and black water go to the same place. Storm water is kept separate because it doesn’t need treatment. So a sanitary sewer line is going to carry both gray and black water. Therefore pathogens.
    I hope for the neighbor’s sake that line is a storm sewer and not a sanitary sewer.

  • The broken pipe in the picture is definitely not for storm water, that wouldn’t be piped under a bridge. Given the description it is nasty waster that should be treated. Unfortunately, cities have a lot of leeway in how quickly they must repair leaks. Looks like it is fouling the bike path and bayou, so loads of complaints should get it fixed soon.

  • If that were on private property, do you know the shit storm (pardon the pun) the city would rain down the owner?