Video: Bubbling sewage break

updated 4/1/2004 3:27:56 PM ET 2004-04-01T20:27:56

A malfunction at a north Texas water treatment plant Wednesday caused tens of millions of gallons of raw sewage to bubble up from manholes, form pools in low-lying areas and flow into the Trinity River.

Officials said a gate that covers a pipeline leading into the River Authority’s waste water treatment plant broke Wednesday morning and blocked the flow of sewage.

An estimated 50 million to 70 million gallons of black liquid flowed into the Trinity River and covered parts of the Twin Wells Golf Course in Irving, just west of Dallas.

The Trinity is not a source of drinking water, but fishermen use it.

Authority officials said divers went underwater to fix the problem, and the sewage flow was switched to another pipe by afternoon.

Officials sprayed chemicals in the Irving area Wednesday night to kill bacteria.

Another line blockage was reported Wednesday at a water treatment plant in Benbrook, just southwest of Fort Worth. It caused about 2 million gallons of sewage to spill into the Trinity. Water from Lake Benbrook was being used to dilute that sewage, officials said.

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