"Our mission is to exceed our customer’s expectations by providing a complete range of storm water related services."

"I wanted to thank you for your patience with our slow draining pond. I believe that most of your competitors would have just worked away in the water and sludge and then come back to tell us that it was too wet to do the job right. Instead, you took the time for it to dry out and do it right the first time. We are looking forward to having you oversee our pond maintenance." Janet S.

Storm Water Pump Stations (Lift Stations)

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in blog, storm water | 0 comments

Storm Water Pump Stations (Lift Stations)

Storm water pump stations, also called lift stations, are used to get water from low lying areas to higher areas so they can drain away from the property. In many cases these lift stations are installed where detention ponds, parking garage basements or elevator sumps may be below the surrounding grade. When this happens these low lying areas cannot drain because they sit below the level of the nearest drainage, whether that be storm sewer, ditch or other conveyance. The size and quantity of pumps in a lift station are calculated based on a number of factors including how much drains into them, how much rain potentially could fall on this drainage area, and how much water can the conveyance being pumped to accept. It’s not just as fast as possible, as that would create a “wall of water” headed downstream and potentially flood people downstream of your property. Some lift stations can pump out the water but if receiving conveyances are still full then the pumps simply overwhelm the systems and the overflow runs back into your property, as shown in the above picture.


While lift stations are not new to technology, Archimedes created a version based on ideas from the 500-1000 BC Assyrian and Egyptian engineers, they are advanced today. With the use of delay pump technology, flood control can be achieved by designing a detention pond that holds water for 48-72 hours after a rainfall event before being pumped out in an effort to allow the watershed to drain some before adding more water. Also, the use of transducer or float type actuators means that pumps can turn on in stages as water levels rise in the system. And there are even alternators which switch the use of one pump during this event and then use the second pump on the next event, in an attempt to prevent one of the pumps from premature overuse.  The control panels for these pump stations are fairly simple to navigate with some general physics and electrical knowledge but they are not to be handled by amateurs. There is a huge risk of shock and electrocution by touching any one of the hot wires inside the panel. It is recommended that you call out an experienced pump station tech to troubleshoot and repair your panel or your pumps in side of your lift station. 

If your lift station doesn’t seem to be working properly or you just want to give it a check up, call Storm-Tex Services at 832-510-7250 to set up a service call.

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Flood Education and Harvey Update 8/28/2017 10:30am

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in blog, Storm Warnings, storm water | 0 comments

Here is the update to the rainfall amounts as of 10:30am 8/28/2017:

gauges

As you can see, there have literally been 2′-3′ of rain that has fallen across the Greater Houston area. As a comparison, here are the rainfall totals from last year’s Tax Day Flood 2016:

tax day 2016.png

And here is the Memorial Day Flood of 2016:

Memorial Day 2016.png

Now, one thing to note is that the reason that these floods occurred was because of rainfall rate, or how much rain fell in 1 hour.  While Harvey has not been light on that, it is the primary reason for both of these floods.

If you pay attention to the totals, however, they are unprecedented.  Nothing comes close. While Tropical Storm Allison was devastating to Houston, it also meandered around Houston for almost 2 weeks dumping its rain on the area:

allison track.png

And these charts show the rainfall amounts for the Houston area because of Allison:

allison rainfall.png

While these would be mind-boggling during any year, they pale in comparison to the chart at the top of this post.  This should put this rain event into perspective.  As of noon yesterday enough rain had fallen across the Houston area to fill up a 2 mile by 2 mile by 2 mile cube! And rain is still falling…

water cube.png

Numerous people who are flooded, and have never before flooded, should not be surprised because of the immense amount of rain in such a short time period.  Houston is basically flat, and at over 2200 square miles, and when you put 2′-3′ of water on it, you have 2′-3′ of water on it.  No other way to explain it.  As a point of education, some of you have heard about 100 year flood event, 500 year flood event, etc.  These are a bit of a misnomer.  Here is the lowdown:

year flood events.png

Houston’s rain water flows into street, then into ditches or storm sewers, and then into creeks and bayous and then into rivers and then into Galveston Bay.  This system is called the watershed.  And each watershed acts differently to rain.  Some are slow to drain because they are long and windy, like Cypress Creek.  Some are quicker to drain but end up accumulating behind a levy, like Addicks and Barker Resevoirs. Here is a quick glance at the Greater Houston watersheds:

new-watersheds_light.jpg

One thing to note.  Because Cypress Creek’s watershed is SO long and windy and so slow to evacuate rain water, the Harris County Flood Control District and Army Corps of Engineers installed a levy.  This levy doesn’t hold water back, but actually acts as a relief valve for the Cypress Creek watershed.  The waters in Cypress Creek, when they reach a certain level overtop the levy and allow some of the water to make its way down into the Addicks Reservoir.  This has happened with Harvey, and the Memorial Day 2016 and Tax Day 2016 flood events.  I hope this puts this flooding into perspective…even while rain still falls.

 

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Harvey’s Impact 48 Hours Later in Houston

Posted by on Aug 27, 2017 in blog, Storm Warnings, storm water | 0 comments

48 hours

48 hours in and rain is still coming…looks like the forecasters, unfortunately, got it right.  Houston, which already suffered 2 tremendous, historic floods in 2016 is now bracing itself to see even more record breaking flooding.  There isn’t much to say except for pray for Houston!

Attention: while those whose homes are not flooded and you’re basically safe but stir crazy, please be careful “playing” in the flood waters. While it may look, and could even be, innocent enough, please keep in mind that all of our storm sewers AND more importantly our sanitary sewers are underground. There is always a likelihood that when flood waters are present that there could be some bacteria and other yucky stuff that has been flushed out of overflowing sanitary sewers. Again, if you or your kiddos feel the need to “play” in the flood waters, keep it out of your eyes, ears, mouth and nose. And be sure to wash with anti-bacterial soap after coming into contact with flood waters.

For everyone else, please stay home if it is possible.  Once the rain lets up and waters begin to recede, do your part to help your neighbors for a few days to recover, in what will be months of effort before “normal” returns.

Below is a map of streams and bayous as of Sunday afternoon on 8/27/2017:

48 hours 2.png

And here is the map of current highway closures around town…this does not include surface street!

48 hours 3

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And Now We Wait…

Posted by on Aug 26, 2017 in blog, Storm Warnings, storm water | 0 comments

From Space City Weather

Harvey has arrived in Houston.

Numerous flash flood warnings are posted right now across the Greater Houston area, as an eastern flank feeder band of the storm flows ashore.


Harvey slowly meandering between Victoria and Goliad, shipping intense rains into Houston. (College of DuPage)

These heavy rains are likely to continue throughout the day today. There may be lulls at times, but the dominant weather we see in Houston today is heavy rainfall, leading to street and possibly bayou flooding.

Rain totals have begun to add up. Generally 1-3″ north and east and 3-6″+ south and west since yesterday.

Rain totals through 6:45 AM Saturday are beginning to add up. (Harris County Flood Control)

As the day progresses, rain totals will balloon further. Some models show really impressive rain totals in the Houston area today. I would expect an average of 4-8″ today across the region, with higher amounts possible, especially on the south and west sides and perhaps a few spots east of the city with lesser amounts.

Bottom line in all this, you need to be prepared for significant travel inconvenience and disruption today. And if you can stay put, please do so.

Other concerns

Tornadoes have occurred overnight in some of the cells rotating in. Continue to have a way to get warnings throughout the day today, as isolated tornadoes will continue to be possible. My hope is that the pace of the tornado warnings slows a bit as the day goes on. But continue to have your phone or a weather radio to alert you.

Winds will continue to be gusty at times. Harvey is weakening between Victoria and Goliad, close to tropical storm strength.

It should continue to weaken from a wind standpoint as the day goes on. Still, some occasional 30-40 mph gusts are expected around Houston. Galveston will gust 40-50 mph at times. This could lead to sporadic power outages.

Eric will have more on the longer-range forecast later, but not much has changed since yesterday.

Rainfall over the next five days continues to look extreme. (NOAA)

As we said last night: This is a marathon, not a sprint, and you should be prepared to deal with inconveniences, headaches, and travel problems for the next several days.

More a little later.

Posted at 7:20 AM Saturday by Matt

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Harvey, the Cat4

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in storm water | 0 comments

Well, he did it. And I’m not sure that is a good thing. Harvey is a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds at the eye-wall of 130mph. Still a little ways off shore, he has started beating up the Port Aransas, TX and Corpus Christi area pretty badly. He will slow down though, both in wind speed and traveling speed. This is where things get scary. We still don’t know exactly what will happen, but suffice it to say, if you can hunker down in place, do it. It’s not going to rain for 40 days and 40 nights but it will feel like it. 

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Harvey is a Cat3

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in blog, Storm Warnings, storm water | 0 comments

As we watch the storm inch towards the Gulf Coast just east of Corpus Christi this evening, the winds will back down from the 115mph+ (some models even claim up to a 125mph Cat4 by end of the night!) beast he is right now. Rain bands have already been battering the coast from Brownsville to Beaumont. And some of them are already dropping some quantity of rain. While the Houston area won’t experience the high winds, the rain will continue to fall. And fall. And fall. As Harvey stalls out of South Texas and then heads East, whatever that may look like, the Houston area will still be getting rain. So there is definitely going to be wind damage in and around Corpus Christi, and there is going to be flooding from the I35 corridor all the way into Louisiana. Some of it will be extensive and devastating. More updates to come!

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