Lake Ray Hubbard Trash Piles Up After Heavy Rains

Residents say trash problem has been around for years

Residents living on the shore of Lake Ray Hubbard in Rowlett say they are fed up with trash piling up along the shores.

Trash ranging from bottles to syringes is found along the lake's shores any time there is heavy rain, they say.

Longtime Rowlett homeowner Brady Cox said he is never sure about what will wash up on his back deck.

"I expected to see a body someday, but I haven't yet, thank goodness," said Cox, who has lived on Lake Ray Hubbard for 20 years.

Residents said the trash has been a problem for years and that the lake does not look the same anymore.

"It's gotten progressively worse," Cox said. "It is at its worst right now."

The trash greets people coming into Rowlett's entrance on the Rowlett Road Bridge. But the city of Dallas owns the lake and is in charge of the cleanup.

"When people come into Rowlett across, they can look on either side and see how ugly it is," Cox said. "What does that do for the city of Rowlett's image? Not much."

"If I was driving through town, I'd probably just keep going through," said resident Nelda Roberts.

Roberts' husband started Keep Rowlett Beautiful. She and residents along the shore have spent thousands of their money hiring help to cleanup.

"I think of how unhealthy it looks myself and I see people out boating and fishing," she said. "I always wonder just what are they going to get into. It's just really nasty-looking."

The city of Dallas said it is working on a cleanup plan for Lake Ray Hubbard.

Last week, it sent city utility workers to the lake. Staff determined that the type of litter present did not contain hazardous materials and would not affect the lake's water quality.

The city said the litter starts in cities upstream and goes into Rowlett Creek, which flows down into Lake Ray Hubbard.

Keep Rowlett Beautiful members said they have been fighting Dallas for years now.

"It's gone on for a long time now, and we're thinking it's time to do something about it," Cheryl Harris said.

They said the fight would not stop as long as the trash keeps floating.

"How do you describe devastating?" Cox said. "It's just negative."

The city of Dallas said a community effort is one option it's looking at but is also reminding North Texans not to litter.

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