Here we go again.
Stop us if you’ve ever read this before, but Beeville officials have to do something about our water system.
Just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, local citizens learned that a recent test of the city’s water showed that a sample “exceeded the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for E. coli bacteria.”
That’s serious stuff. Some strains of E. coli can produce toxins which are dangerous to human health, and possibly could kill children, seniors or anyone with a weakened immune system.
The Beeville Public Water System was ordered to notify all customers to boil their water before consuming it. That means before washing hands or faces, brushing teeth or drinking it.
On a positive note, we received phone calls, emails and other notifications to our website (mySouTex.com) about this “crappy” development, so at least the i-INFO emergency system is working.
Fortunately, in a follow-up message, as of Thursday, Aug. 1, the water boil had been lifted. The public water system had taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the water’s quality.
If this situation had lasted for an extended length of time, the city should have provided bottled water to those residents who cannot afford to purchase them and already are paying for city water services.
Just two weeks ago, the state lifted a similar water boil notice on a Sunday evening. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality officials said that residents could resume normal water usage. That water boil notice began on the previous Friday afternoon, so many were hoping it was simply a one-off scenario.
In mid-July, City Manager Joe B. Montez was notified by the TCEQ that chlorine residuals were dangerously low in some parts of the city. Although most of the problem was centered on the northwest quadrant, Montez recommended that all city water customers boil tap water before consuming it to assure that bacteria are killed.
OK, once was forgivable, but twice in two weeks is unacceptable.
In fact, water problems have been plaguing this city for years. Numerous Beeville water boil notices can be found on our website, issued from 2013 to 2017 under previous administrations.
What can be done to prevent this from happening again? Why aren’t other nearby cities suffering from these incessant maladies?
By now, city officials and employees must realize that the treated water from the Nueces River is going to sit for a while in a tower or in the pipes in certain sections of town in the brutal summer heat.
Can we not treat it regularly with chlorine to burn away bacteria before it becomes a health menace?
Didn’t citizens just approve spending $10 million to improve our aging water and wastewater systems?
Are we holding anyone accountable for these recurring problems? Not wanting to cost anyone his job, but this is getting ridiculous.
In closing, the city, county and other taxing entities are joining forces to appropriate money for economic development. It’s going to be difficult to attract businesses here, though, when the water isn’t safe to drink.