“Those are the last letters?” asked Councilman Jimmy Blaschke, rhetorically.
The water has been at .010 parts per billion since before the state and the Environment Protection Agency lowered the limit.
The newest analysis from the state measured the arsenic at .007 parts per billion, according to Gabe Thomas, pubic works director who said he received the report this week.
Yet, the town’s water problems are not completely solved. The new water well drilled to reduce the level of arsenic contained other minerals which caused other problems including a bad odor and discoloration.
“Wells four and five have different chlorine demands,” Thomas said.
The director said LNV Engineering is working on a plan to use separate lines on well 5.
Municipal water systems were required to comply with the new arsenic standard by Jan. 23, 2006. However, the town received extensions as a result of a new filtering system which just recently became operational.
Arsenic is an odorless, tasteless semi-metal element that enters water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices, according to the EPA.
The long-term effects of consuming arsenic includes non-cancer conditions such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness in hands and feet, partial paralysis and blindness. Arsenic has also been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver and prostate, according to the EPA’s report on Arsenic in Drinking Water.
Thomas also identified a 500 feet stretch of sewer line which needs replacing on FM136 and Jeter. The line is clay and is breaking of.
“It’s no good and we’re looking to replace it soon,” Thomas said.
The city council also agreed to work with several residents on extending by 90 days their time to demolish structures which have been recommended for demolition by the code inspector.
“We’re going to work with you, no matter what,” Blaschke said. “If you need more time, just come back and let us know.”
Five residents appeared before the council to report progress. All but one of the citizens said they had been unsuccessful in finding someone to help them.
The council, presided over by Mayor Pro tem Larry Jochetz in the absence of Mayor George Hernandez said goodbye to Municipal Judge Rusty Barrett who attended his last meeting Tuesday night. The judge is moving to another town.
In other matters the council:
• Agreed to purchase $675 worth of road materials from Martin Marietta
• Agreed to give worker Carlos Deases a $1 raise
• Will advertise for two laborers in the water/street department, one with backhoe skills
• Approved city worker Debbie LePore’s request to attend Muncipal Court Clerk class in Galveston May 10-22