TCEQ, city of Pearland seek source of Shadow Creek Ranch odor

The source of a mysterious smell bothering some residents in Shadow Creek Ranch continues to elude officials attempting to resolve the issue.


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality—which has been working with the city of Pearland—received 58 odor complaints from residents within the community between Sept. 23 and Nov. 10. Some complainants said the stench has been a problem for years.


The TCEQ has been investigating the complaints since August, and 11 investigations were ongoing as of March 1, according to TCEQ media relations specialist Andrew Keese.


“All potential sources for the odors are being evaluated,” he said.


TCEQ, city of Pearland seek source of Shadow Creek Ranch odorSeveral potential sources in the area are being investigated. Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry and Blue Ridge Landfill are two of the businesses the TCEQ has examined.


Michael Leech, Pearland assistant director of public works, said the city has received more than 100 calls from residents reporting a foul smell in Shadow Creek Ranch. These complaints prompted staff to conduct tests on the city’s sanitary sewer infrastructure.


“Our crews went out and inspected every one of the more than 1,100 manholes that are in the Shadow Creek Ranch area to make sure odors weren’t emanating from them,” Leech said.


City staff found no problems with any manholes and also dismissed the Reflection Bay wastewater treatment plant as the source, Leech said.


As complaints continued coming in, the city began plotting the location of callers to compile a map to help determine a cause. Residents are encouraged to note a description of the smell and the time of day it occurs.


“We’re able to identify areas where the calls are coming from and at what times,” Leech said.


The city also uses a local weather station to determine the wind direction at the time the reported odor occurs, he said. Although the data maps do not show a concentration from which the complaints are coming, a particular wind direction appears to be involved.


“It’s sort of all over the subdivision,” Leech said. “It seems like the calls come in when the winds are coming from the north and the west.”


Residents have described the odor as being similar to chemicals as well as burning, rotting garbage, sewage and rotten eggs, according to the TCEQ. All complainants said the smell occurs only from around
6 p.m.-8 a.m.


Maria Shaw, Shadow Creek Ranch general manager, was unavailable for comment.


Leech encouraged residents to continue to report odors to the city. With no source yet identified, he said the more information residents supply, the better.


“This [type of] issue is new to me,” Leech said. “An issue of this scale and that is this challenging to [resolve] is very new to me, and I’ve been in the government/municipal business for almost 20 years.”

SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

MyFit18 to open multiple locations in Pearland

MyFit18 is a zero-staff fitness enter with full facial recognition for clients.

Alvin and Friendswood ISD move to support underserved students as classes start online. (Courtesy Fotolia)
How Houston-area school districts are responding to coronavirus

Here are some updates from the last week on how school districts across the Greater Houston area are adapting during the coronavirus outbreak.

Texas Central plans to start construction of the Texas high-speed rail connecting Houston and Dallas by the end of 2020. (Courtesy Texas Central)
Coronavirus causes layoffs for Texas Central’s high-speed rail project

Texas Central officials announced multiple employees would be laid off March 27 in the wake of a worldwide coronavirus outbreak.

METRO
METRO reduces Park & Ride service, closes HOV lanes; two employees test positive for COVID-19

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County suspended all Park & Ride routes except those serving the Texas Medical Center, effective March 30.

Brazoria County will issue a "Stay Safe at Home" order. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here is the latest on news on stay-at-home orders across the Greater Houston area

As counties and cities across the region issue shelter-in-place orders to combat the spread of the coronavirus, find out more information on what they mean for your community in the stories below.

Karen Waldrup (top) and The Soul Rebels (bottom) both had to cancel shows scheduled in Houston due to coronavirus. (Photo illustration by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Houston-area musicians go virtual to play for fans amid coronavirus cancellations of live shows

As non-essential businesses like bars and music venues are forced to close due to coronavirus concerns, musicians find themselves performing for audiences behind computer screens and asking for virtual tips.

Road projects are underway in Pearland. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Bailey Road and Smith Ranch Road: 2 Pearland transportation projects to watch

Here are two Pearland road projects making progress:

While the agency is still tallying the number of unemployment insurance claims filed thus far in March, in the week prior to March 25, at least 150,000 claims had been filed. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Official: Increase in calls for statewide unemployment benefits is ‘almost vertical’

According to Serna, on an average day the Texas Workforce Commission’s four call centers statewide receive 13,000-14,000 calls; on March 22, the agency received 100,000 calls regarding unemployment insurance benefit inquiries.

Alvin and Friendswood ISD move to support underserved students as classes start online. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Alvin and Friendswood ISD move to support underserved students as classes start online

Part of the process of transitioning to remote instruction has been learning how best to serve students without reliable internet access.

DATA: Cases, recovery rates and death rates for COVID-19 in the Greater Houston area

A total of 441 cases of coronavirus have been identified in the Greater Houston area as of March 26.

LifePointe Fellowship Church (Morgan Slutzky)
LifePointe Fellowship Church finishes expansion, postpones grand opening

LifePointe Fellowship Church, located at 3011 Yost Blvd., Pearland, completed its expansion in March

Back to top