Toxic Water Has Flooded Homes in Houston After Harvey
Toxic Water Has Flooded Homes in Houston After Harvey.
According to tests organized by the New York Times and conducted by a team from Baylor Medical College and Rice University, the floodwaters in two Houston neighborhoods have been contaminated with toxins and bacteria that can make people sick.
Water flowing down Briarhills Parkway in the Houston Energy Corridor contained Escherichia coli, a measure of fecal contamination, at a level more than four times that considered safe.
In the Clayton Homes public housing development downtown, along the Buffalo Bayou, scientists found what they considered astonishingly high levels of E. coli in standing water in one family’s living room—levels 135 times those considered safe—as well as elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other heavy metals in sediment from the floodwaters in the kitchen.
He took antibiotics, but on Saturday, he said, he started feeling lightheaded and weak as he and his brother-in-law tried to move possessions from Mr. Greer’s flooded home.
He went to the emergency room at Houston Methodist, where he was put on an intravenous drip and given another antibiotic prescription.
Mr. Greer said swimming pools around his neighborhood are rank.
“All the pools are just giant toilets you’re unable to flush,” he said.
The medical team that tested the water is concerned about residents wading through the toxic waters.
“Don’t assume it will go away on its own.”