The city of Houston terminated its contract with Inframark, the contractor that operates the Kingwood Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin’s office announced March 22.

The decision to terminate the city’s five-year, $74 million contract with Inframark came more than a month after Houston Police Department officials executed a search warrant at the Kingwood Central Wastewater Treatment Plant on Feb. 17.

HPD officials alleged in the search warrant affidavit the contractor doctored samples and records to suggest the plant had adequately treated sewage before releasing it into a waterway that feeds into one of the city’s main sources of drinking water.

“Over the last five years since Hurricane Harvey, we have repeatedly asked the city of Houston to address the serious deficiencies in the condition of the equipment at the Kingwood Central Wastewater Treatment Facility, and until recently the city has slow-walked every request,” Inframark spokesperson Miranda Sevcik said in a March 22 email. “The fact that the city has moved to terminate us as long overdue upgrades are finally being made is both a surprise and a disappointment.”

Sevcik noted the company is currently conducting an internal investigation.

“With respect to allegations of criminal wrongdoing, we are nearing completion of an internal investigation that has found no evidence of any illegal activity on the part of any Inframark employees,” Sevcik said.

City officials said the Houston Public Works Department is now running the plant as well as four additional plants in Kingwood formerly operated by Inframark. Officials maintain the city’s drinking water has and will continue to be safe to consume.

“We are committed to providing the highest-quality water services to Houstonians and believe this is the best path forward for Houston water treatment operations,” Houston Public Works Director Carol Haddock said in a statement.

According to a Feb. 17 news release, the issue first arose in January after city officials received reports of foul odors emanating from the plant.

Upon discovering irregularities at the plant, Houston Public Works Department officials forwarded their findings to HPD’s Environmental Crimes Unit and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

HPD officials said the investigation is ongoing.