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Water Quality

The Port of Houston is a highly industrialized area surrounding the Houston Ship Channel. The ship channel also flows through environmentally sensitive Galveston Bay. Maintaining water quality is essential for this important wildlife habitat and recreational asset.

As a part of its municipal separate storm sewer system program, the Port Authority has conducted a comprehensive mapping project for all its terminals. The project located all storm water drainage features such as inlets, drains, culverts, ditches, and trench drains using GPS. The data was then GIS mapped and drainage maps for all terminals have been created. A storm water outfall survey was conducted to ensure that storm water outfalls were in good condition and any non-storm water discharges were identified.

An innovative storm water treatment system at the Bayport Container Terminal uses a first flush detention pond to prevent solids and contaminates from reaching Galveston Bay.  Educational materials targeting different audiences including tenants, contractors, and construction workers stress storm water best practices.

The importance of maintaining water quality for drinking water is of utmost importance, as it is provided to our employees, tenants, users, and vessels. The Port Authority actively maintains the backflow prevention at all of its terminals.

The Houston–Galveston Area Council and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality awarded the Port Authority a $66,500 Solid Waste Grant to address the ongoing challenge of floating debris in the ship channel. The objective of the grant is to prevent litter and promote recycling on Port Authority operated terminals by independent truckers, stevedores, tenants, users, employees and visitors. The effort goes beyond educational materials and includes strategically placed heavy-duty trash and recycling bins at Turning Basin, Barbours Cut, and Bayport Terminals.

The Port Authority’s sediment management program serves as a support function to the Channel Development department. All dredge material, from Port Authority facilities or private entities, must undergo a rigorous testing process and be evaluated prior to receiving approval for placement into a Port Authority owned dredged material placement area. The sampling program requires material to be tested for a wide variety of parameters, including metals, volatile organics, pesticides, and dioxins. Environmental Affairs staff review the sample results and determine if the materials are acceptable for placement. The Port Authority has had a sediment sampling program since the 1990s.

The Port Authority pioneered the use of dredge material to create marsh and wildlife habitat. Learn more about this award winning effort at http://www.betterbay.org/.

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The Port of Houston Authority

111 East Loop North
Houston, Texas USA 77029
Phone: 713-670-2400

P.O. Box 2562
Houston, Texas USA 77252-2562

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The Port of Houston Authority

111 East Loop North
Houston, Texas USA 77029
Phone: 713-670-2400

P.O. Box 2562
Houston, Texas USA 77252-2562

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