Local News

Oct 23, 2013 4:13 PM by Sara Donchey

6 Investigates: Sewage Dumping Along Nueces River

ROBSTOWN -- A stretch of the Nueces River adjacent to a residential area in Robstown has become ground zero in an illegal sewage dumping operation.

And residents aren't happy about it.

Tim McWha is a member of the Nueces River Preservation Association and has coordinated several events to help clean up the river.

"It is upsetting for us to come across things like this."

McWha says another member of the association noticed a commercial truck dumping black sludge along the riverbank.

A Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigation identified the truck as belonging to Corpus Christi-based J.E. Brown Septic Company.

Six Investigates called the company to inquire about the dumping but the company hung up the phone several times.

The company's publicly-listed business address led us to a house in a residential neighborhood.

No one answered the door at the residence, but a mailbox on the driveway was inscribed with "J. E. Brown."

Caleb Harvey, who drives and repairs trucks for the company denied any knowledge of the incident at first.

"We didn't dump the sewage," Harvey said. "I know for a fact we didn't dump sewage."

But shortly after Harvey said the company didn't illegally dump the sewage, his story changed.

"It could've been dumped, but what is in the truck was just water."

When we asked Harvey again--moments later--if he knew he wasn't supposed to be dumping in the area, he acknowledged that he did.

Harvey eventually admitted that someone had allowed J. E. Brown to dump on the property if the company paid the person directly.

"It was water, and the guy let us dump there for thirty bucks."

When asked about the identity of the person, Harvey would not elaborate.

Neighbors say the house directly adjacent to where the truck was dumping is vacant and has been for at least a year.

TCEQ and Nueces County Public Works both say they are currently investigating the incident.

A spokesperson for Public Works said that pending the completion of the investigations, criminal charges could be filed.

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