People worry water project, fault line will cause damage in The Woodlands

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by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 7:42 PM

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- There has been plenty of debate over fault lines in The Woodlands now residents are wondering what impact they might have on a massive water pipeline project.

That 40 inch high pressure water line is expected to be finished in July and will pull water from Lake Conroe to customers in Montgomery County.

Mark Meinrath says he has proof that the Panther Branch Fault runs through his house and caused a 10 inch drop over the last decade.

Now his house is sitting on 15 foot concrete pilings and is still sinking faster than ever, “What bothers me most is that we are still debating whether these faults exist,” Meinrath says.

He can’t help but wonder why the San Jacinto River Authority is building a massive water pipeline project that potentially crosses the fault.

The concern now for many Woodlands residents is what is going to happen when the pipe is in the ground, “I don’t know how you make an expansion joint underground,” said Al Wilkins who also has a home with damage.

”A 40 inch water line could create a sink hole very quickly and it is at one of the busiest intersections in the Woodlands,” Meinrath added.

The San Jacinto River Authority which is building the Pipeline has told homeowners it’s engineers think the fault ends before it hits the pipeline.

Meinrath points to a spot in the road less than a hundred feet from his front door; “That is as far south as Terracon claims the fault goes. Despite what is happening to my house.”

It also does not address what appears to be happening in the Woodlands High School parking lot just around the bend.

It has significant cracks that run through the entire lot that are right on a line with Meinrath’s house and right across the pipeline route.

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