A team of Eyewitness News investigators spent months and thousands of hours looking into the Sewerage & Water Board after two major floods during the summer of 2017.
What they found during their digging for “Down the Drain” was an agency in disarray.
A year after the reporters’ findings were broadcast and published on Nov. 15, 2017, there has been some progress -- but major problems also remain.
Then: 106 out of 120 operating
Now: 115 out of 120 operating
Background: Aging pumps crippled due to neglect, lack of maintenance, slow repairs. Most are back up due to expedited repairs.
Then: 2 out of 5 operating
Now: 5 out of 5 operating
Background: Aging power-generating machinery fell into disrepair. Tens of millions spent to bring back online.
Then: Director Cedric Grant (forced retirement), Supt. Joe Becker (fired)
Now: Director Ghassan Khorban, Interim Supt. Bruce Adams
Background: Heads rolled after top officials said the drainage system was working at capacity during flood-producing July 22 and Aug. 5 storms. Four interim directors – Paul Rainwater, Marcie Edwards, Jade Brown Russell and David Callahan – held the post until Khorban started Sept. 4.
Then: 250 days cash reserves for drainage
Now: Zero cash reserves for drainage
Background: $80 million spent on emergency repairs; 17,000 customers owe more than $22 million in overdue bills, now under threat of having their water shut off.
Click here to see the full "Down the Drain" reports.