LUBBOCK, TX – As the southern region of the state continues to fight through the flooding and rubble from tropical storm Harvey, experts are finding that this storm has caused all kinds of health hazards to surface, including water contamination.
Director of the water resources center at Texas Tech University, Dr. Venkatesh Uddameri said it’s not just the cities along the coast and Houston that will struggle long term to have clean water, but the surrounding rural communities as well.
“The communities especially that rely on untreated water from their wells, those are the ones especially that need testing to make sure they aren’t ingesting contaminated water,” Uddameri said.
Uddameri said toxic substances have been mixed together by the flood water.
“Like oil and grease, all of that is getting mixed causing ground water contamination, surface water contamination, it’s going to be an issue long term, and that water is going into oceans so it’s polluting coastal eco-systems, arising from this flood,” Uddameri said.
Researchers across the state have already begun gathering data following the devastation from this storm in order to better help other communities and encourage them to update their flood plans.
“When we have an event like this one it gives us a chance to study and find out what can we do next time around, just like we learned from Katrina I think the emergency response was better with this storm,” Uddameri said.