Ruptured Sewer Pipe in Big Spring Leaves Behind a Stinky Situation

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING - Since Friday afternoon, the City of Big Spring has been dealing with a real mess. A sewer pipe busted causing raw sewage to be spilled and the smell to be unbearable.

As you can imagine, city workers have been working around the clock to get this situation under control. According to Johnny Womack, Environmental Services Assistant Director in Big Spring, the pipe that ruptured was over 60-years-old and it was only a matter of time before something like this would happen.

"It's like any municipality. You have the old and slowly you get it all replaced. We replace sewer pipe and water lines constantly. We are constantly redoing our water lines each year," Womack said.

Womack says when they were first notified of the problem they thought it was a simple task, but they kept running into problems. One of those problems was that the pipe that needed to be replaced was under an old warehouse.

"They drilled vertically underneath the building, they drilled a 22 inch pilot hole. We put a 15 inch feet of casing and now we are running a 10 inch sewer pipe back through there," Womack said.

Womack says since the pipe ruptured Friday afternoon crews have been working non-stop, he mentioned that even though they contacted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on the same day, the city still took safety measures themselves.

"We filed everything. We had sewer on the ground, you can wash it down with fresh water, you also have to use chlorine mixture something like swimming pool powder that decontaminates it," Womack said.

Womack says the pipe is close to the federal prison but says they were not affected by the rupture and everything should be back to normal by Thursday.