Water activities suspended at White Rock Lake after raw sewage spill upstream

Image 1 of 5

All water recreation activities at White Rock Lake have been suspended after more than one million gallons of sewage spilled into one of the major creeks that feeds into the lake.

The North Texas Municipal Water District said construction crews working to build a parking structure in Plano next to the George Bush Turnpike bore a hole into one of its wastewater pipes Wednesday afternoon.

An estimated 1 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into White Rock Creek, which runs about 12 miles before emptying into White Rock Lake.

NTMWD fixed the broken pipe early Thursday but said it is still assessing the environmental impact of the spill, especially on the fish. Officials said there could be fish kill and a general bad smell around the lake.

The White Rock dog park is now closed and other activities like boating and paddle boarding have been banned until further notice. Fishing is also highly discouraged.

"It sounds very unhealthy for the water and the park in general,” said park visitor James Annon. “You like to keep a place like this nice and clean for everyone to come enjoy it whether it's walking or biking or fishing. A lot of people are here doing different things.”

The water district says drinking water used by the public was not affected by the spill.

NTMWD is still assessing what the environmental impact will be on the creek and the lake. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are helping to come up with a plan to clean up the mess.