Up the Crick

To Deep Ellum's problems, add this: an underground raging river of poop

EPA spokesman Dave Bary says his agency is working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to hand out fines and punishments should the city not comply. Yet Frank Espino of the Texas commission says no one there has received any information from the EPA about the administrative order.

Perhaps ECO will force some action. The nonprofit Environmental Conservation Organization filed suit against the city in December, alleging that "throughout the older parts of the City, such as Deep Ellum...the City's sanitary sewer system consists of decaying clay pipes that have ruptured, causing sewage to enter the [Mill Creek storm drain]...and other waterways that ultimately discharge into the Trinity River Watershed."

The three planned Deep Ellum sewers will be installed in the road beds of Commerce, Main and Elm streets instead of in the alleys where the old sewers exist and leach into Mill Creek.
The three planned Deep Ellum sewers will be installed in the road beds of Commerce, Main and Elm streets instead of in the alleys where the old sewers exist and leach into Mill Creek.
Mark McCay's art deco store on Canton Street sits atop the contaminated storm drain that was once Mill Creek.
Mark Graham
Mark McCay's art deco store on Canton Street sits atop the contaminated storm drain that was once Mill Creek.

ECO's president, James Riley, calls himself a right-wing environmentalist. "The city isn't doing 80 to 90 percent of what it should do," he says. "The idea is that when it rains, what makes it into the Trinity should be storm water...The city's candy-coating a big pile of shit."

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