Illegal dumping creates problems at Cameron Park Resaca

Efforts to improve living conditions in one of the largest colonias in Cameron County are underway.

Soon, residents in Cameron Park will enjoy smoother streets and have a new drainage system in place.

However, Cameron County Commissioner Ernie Hernandez said they recently found another problem to tackle in the area.

"We found a tremendous amount of rubbish, and trash and dead animals and water heaters and you name it - it's there thrown in the Resaca behind these homes," the Pct. 2 commissioner said.

Hernandez has been in office for about a year, but he said the extensive problem area shows about 5, maybe as much as 10 years of trash piled-up.

Leaders believe it's the very residents living there that have created the mess.

"It has to come from the people living there, Hernandez said. No one is going to haul an old water heater and dump it in the Resaca there, they find another spot for it. It seems some of these people have tried to build a barrier behind their house to prevent the back-up of water, but all they've done is made it worse."

He said the dumping is a nuisance, health hazard, possible flooding problem and if left unresolved, makes the millions invested into improving roads and drainage go to waste.

"People started calling us because we're putting the new drains to the Resacas, for the roads, Hernandez said. They started saying (that if we) put that water in the Resaca, then it's going to turn around and back right into (their) houses - so it's a no win situation - kind of a Catch-22."

Hernandez said they are working with different Cameron County departments, the Texas Environmental Commission for Quality and Drainage District No. 1 to clean-up the illegal dumping.

However, he adds the project could take months to complete.