Some Brownsville residents have said that they are worried about brush potentially clogging the drainage systems, but one drain systems director says it is not brush that is cause the problem.
“You name it then we gotta fish it out,” said Albert Barreda, the drain district manager for Cameron County’s district 1.
Though brush pick-up remains an ongoing issue for residents in Brownsville, Berreda says that illegal dumping is the main culprit.
“There is a constant battle–if you will—keeping the drainage ditches running smoothly,” said Berreda. “We’re about the 2nd or 3rd largest district in the state so we cover some 90,000 acres of ditches—so it’s quite a bit.”
The most dumped item seen are tires, and in some cases it will clog systems, creating the greater potential for flooding.
“We work closely with the city of Brownsville where most of the illegal dumping occurs,” said Berreda.
Berreda says that most dumping occurs at night though they work with the city of Brownsville to report it when it happens, but to prepare, they keep the ditches clean rain or shine.
“We regularly go to the heads of the ditches where they start and end and remove all of the debris that we’re able to get out,” said Berreda.
All water drains eventually to the Laguna Madre and then off into the cost, and with the water any trash in it will too.
“There’s a lot of trash that flows into from or downward—rather—into our ditches before all of that debris gets out to the gulf,” said Berreda.