Construction of Fire Station Douses Neighborhood Yards

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Photos taken the past couple of weeks document what Charles Benbow and his wife see every time it rains.

"During even a somewhat modest rain shower it will come up to our backdoor up through our porch and as you can see silt has collected," Benbow said.

Benbow said runoff water that contains silt from the construction site of the new fire station constantly floods his backyard and its damaging his property. Besides his yard, Benbow said the porch he had constructed a year ago has turned into a collection bin for the silt.

Before construction began, the contractor J.A. Cody signed a Notice of Intent to Release, a document stating silt and runoff water would not leave the construction site. To be in compliance, they put up silt fencing along the existing fence line to catch and hold back the runoff.

However, College Station Engineer Robert Mosley said heavy rain events since June have made that impossible.

"In practical reality if you have a flood, there's no way we're going to contain all the silt in the flood," Mosley said.

Mosley and an official with J.A. Cody Construction acknowledge the problem of silt runoff, but they point to inadequate surface drainage that already existed as part of the problem. Recently, drainage pipes were placed along side the Benbow's house to offer some help.

The Benbows said thanks to these pipes the water that is destroying their backyard is making its way to the front of their home onto the street. A mixture of water and silt spew from the pipes.

"That's just the temporary piping that we have there until they permanent system is in place," Mosley said. "And then it should be able to take way any runoff from the site."

Benbow has filed a complaint with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the city of College Station. So, now the issue will be resolved by mother nature and lady justice.