AUSTIN (KXAN) - When Rhonda Fried was looking to buy a home near her grandkids several years ago, one amenity in a Northeast Austin neighborhood helped her make up her mind.
"When I saw a picture of the pond, I said, 'That's it. I want that,'" Fried said.
But what she didn't know is that city street storm drainage system dumps water and debris into the creek and then to the pond behind her house.
"When you see bleach bottles floating on top of the water, it's not as nice, " Fried said.
For several years now, Fried and her neighbors in the Windors Hill community have been pleading with the city for years to help clean up a private pond that is over ran by trash from street drains.
The finally got a measure of relief on Monday. But not before they encountered a lot of frustration.
Fried and her husband try to be proactive by walking the streets with a trash bag to collect garbage before it washes into the pond.
"It's disappointing and disheartening, there is no way to keep ahead of it, " said Fried.
Frustration has driven the community to clean the pond up themselves. But they said the city has stepped in to stop them.
That's not the only problem. The trash and soil erosion has clogged up the natural spring that feeds into the pond.
"Mosquitoes are a real big problem right now, as is the value of our property, " said Wanda Lemons, who has lived in the Windsor Hill neighborhood since 1993.
"It's a health hazard, it's a danger hazard and it just needs to be fixed, " Lemons said.
The community has tried since 2004 to work with the city but nothing has happened.
"We feel the city has damaged it and we would like the city to restore it to the shape it was before, " Lemons said.
"If they would put a grate over the storm drains then we wouldn't have all the rubbish coming in here, " said Fried.
On Monday, the city and the Windsor Hills community held a meeting to discuss solutions. The city agreed to spend up to $50,000 from the Drainage Utility Fund to help clean up the pond.
Soil samples will be taken in October to see if the area is toxic. If not, the city will begin work next summer when the pond is dry.
City officials said street trash is a problem around the Austin area but the city does not have an efficient way to filter street drains in most areas.
New street drainage technology is being looked at by the city for future developments.
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