Steep Bank Creek Pump Station expansion begins. The expansion significantly increases permanent pumping capacity.

This month, Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District 19 (LID 19) broke ground on expanding the Steep Bank Creek pump station. Initially, the pump station was designed to remove 80,000 gallons of water per minute (GPM) out of LID 19 during a weather event. The expansion will add three permanent 50,000 GPM pumps each with backup power generation. When adding the twelve portable pumps that the District added in 2019, the total pumping capacity will increase to over 310,000 GPM. This represents a significant improvement since Hurricane Harvey.

“We made a promise to this community that we would thoughtfully expand our capabilities. We have carefully evaluated different options, and this expansion is one of many upgrades to improve the flood resiliency of our community.” Kalapi Sheth, President, LID 19.

The total cost of the expansion project will be approximately $8.9 million. As they share the watershed, the expense is shared by both levee districts that serve the Riverstone Community; LID 19 and LID 15.

The project broke ground with an estimated completion in May 2022. Construction will be executed by Garney Companies, Inc. with oversight by the District’s consultants. The construction will be executed in a manner that will not compromise the safety of LID 19 during construction.

From left to right: Glenn Wong (LID 19), Sreekanth Pannala (LID 19), Dean Cooper (LID 19), Chad Hablinski (Costello), Nancy Carter (Muller Law Group), Fort Bend County Commisioner Ken DeMerchant (Precinct 4), Rohit Sankholar (LID 15), Fort Bend County Commisioner Grady Prestage (Precinct 2), Jeff Perry (LMS), Matt Reed (Schwartz Page Harding), Jeff Anderson (LID 15) and Phil Martin (Mike Stone Associate).

About Levee Improvement District 19 – Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District #19 is primarily responsible for providing flood protection and stormwater discharge management. LID 19 maintains a flood protection system that includes a levee and other related flood protection infrastructure, including a pump station. Additional information about the District can be found on the District’s website,, and Facebook page.

Our Latest LID 19 Board Member

Please meet Sreekanth Pannala.

Times of emergency often bring a spotlight to the needs of our community. Hurricane Harvey was one such event that led to many asking essential questions about what happened and, most importantly, why it happened to determine ways to understand and make sure we are not in the same situation again.

Such was the situation with the LID 19 newest board member Sreekanth Pannala. During Harvey, he and his family were evacuated from the area. Like many residents, he grew frustrated at the lack of information on the event or the outright misinformation shared among the residents.

“I kept asking myself why did our area suffer so much? I was determined to use my research background to find ways to understand and prevent this from happening again.”

Originally from India, Sreekanth is a product of Indian Institute of Technology and later graduated from Georgia Tech with a master’s and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. After working for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US Department of Energy) in TN for 16 years, he was recruited to Texas by SABIC in 2015. This education and his innate curiosity drove Sreekanth to learn about LID 19 and LID 15. He documented his findings about our LID and Harvey and soon was asked to speak at various residents organized post-Harvey town halls.

He worked with others to get the board converted to elected and expand the board from three to five to ensure representation for the district residents. When board member John Arndt moved from the area, Sreekanth applied to the position and was voted on the board unanimously.

“I have seen the pain first hand though we were lucky to not get flooded. We need to continue to educate and communicate our efforts. While we need to be responsible for our actions’ tax implications, I will do whatever I can to reduce the chances of flooding in our district.”