Sewage Line Work (Update: July 2016)

Sewage Line Work

Dear Winlow Place Residents,

We have been informed that some blocks have sewage work by the City of Houston underway through a department within PWE and the third-party contractor who was awarded the bid for this work, DG Medina Construction.

For those of you who are newer to the neighborhood, in short: our sewage lines are extremely old and beginning to fail. They currently run along the back of our properties (in the easement), which has proven challenging for maintenance by the City and would be very difficult for full replacement. As such, several new lines have already been put in within the City’s right of way at the street, and to service these lines, a new connection will need to be rerouted from the back of each of our properties to the front.

There are many nuances to this project, but that’s a general overview. Before contacting us, please hold your questions if you are at all able (I have been inundated with inquiries) and read through the following documents:

  1. Original FAQ provided the the City regarding this work
  2. FAQ that our residents came up with in 2013, with responses by the City on the right hand side
  3. Contract DG Medina has with the City including the contract and work order # (this document also lists the homes by block as well as a map – the highlighted addresses indicate work has been started or completed at that address)
  4. Original Right of Entry form

All in all this is a very good thing as the last thing any of us want are failing sewage lines. However, construction can sometimes be a frustrating/messy process, so we want to make sure that the City/DG Medina know to communicate with us proactively, and often. That has not been the case recently which is why you’re receiving this email. While the Contractors failed to contact Winlow Place prior to starting work, I have since met with both the owner of DG Medina as well as the Project Manager and key Inspectors for this work order to ensure quality and care moving forward.

I found out late Friday (July 15th) that work had started on Harold and residents weren’t given appropriate 3-day notice. I also learned that during their digging, a gas pipe was hit, which created a gas leak. We have since spoken about this mishap and they have acknowledged their obligations to notify residents, contact 811 several business days prior to beginning work, and the need to keep us informed in a timely and cordial manner. As such, I requested a copy of their Contract (link above) and rundown of the project, broken out by address/street.

As residents, we were originally informed that we would be able to have input regarding any concerns for our individual properties. As I understand it, we were never afforded the ability to weight in on the “design” step regarding input into how the connecting line from each house is routed to the new sewer line to the street. This was the primary focus of my meeting with the responsible parties as moving forward without our involvement is unacceptable. 

Finally, for those of you who perhaps did not sign the “Right of Entry” before (back in 2013 or so) or might not have even lived in Winlow Place at the time, we would recommend that you contact the Project Manager with the City, Brian Campbell, for more details on obtaining an updated copy of the Right of Entry if you want the City to complete this new sewer connection for you. If you do not provide a signed Right of Entry, the City is more or less taking this as an indication that you would prefer to pay for the new line privately, which is an option for you. Brian can be reached at

Again, we will do our best to keep you informed as a Civic Club, however the burden of that absolutely must fall on both the City and the Contractor who was awarded the bid – DG Medina – as it is their paid job. In the interim, we’ll do our best to hold them accountable for keeping us on the loop.

– by Caroline Garry