In Patton Village, a town of almost 2,000 just north of Houston, the hurricane destroyed a brand new $10 million wastewater treatment plant. The treatment system is running on generators now; repairing the plant could take months and cost $150,000. The town also owes $200,000 to contractors who manually pumped wastewater for days following the storm. With nearly a third of its residents living below the poverty level, the town's finances are in dire straits.
|A home in Patton Village, Texas. (Photo provided by Jill Carlson)|
Returning the water systems to normal will take years, said Tommy Ricks, RCAP's director of environmental services. Part of that is because even small water systems must conform to federal drinking water standards. "This recovery process is not a bunch of farmers and ranchers connecting water hoses to get the water to flow again," Ricks said. "The same standards that apply to Houston apply to Patton Village."