By Jan White
CROCKETT – On May 12, City Administrator John Angerstein took to Facebook to reach out to Crockett residents about some notices sent out by the City.
The city is required to take water samples to ensure that a certain level of quality is maintained. This involves sending the water samples to a laboratory that, in turn, forwards those results to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which oversees the safety of public water systems. The tests ensure that there are no contaminants in the water and that the water systems maintain the proper amount of disinfectant. The results of this testing are recorded in the Annual Consumer Confidence Report. This report is available at the City Hall and on their website. A link to the site is sent to residents on their water bills to let them know that the report is available.
However, sometimes certain violations require public notices, such as the boil-water notices. Angerstein wanted to use the video on Facebook to address the notices that customers will be receiving over the next few days concerning some violations received by the City from TCEQ.
The city purchases water from Houston County Water Control Improvement District No. 1, which uses water from the Houston County Lake. Because the water is what Angerstein referred to as “surface water,” or lake water, it must be tested frequently for “total coliform,” a bacteria that could exist in lake water, so water must be disinfected appropriately for that. This requires taking samples every month from sites across town. One of the approved sites was a home under construction, and therefore, the water had been turned off. Unaware that he could take water from another site, the employee turned in his samples with one missing. This sample shortage took place over a three-month period before TCEQ notified the city that they were a sample short. The oversight resulted in a violation order from the TCEQ, but the problem has since been addressed and corrected without further issues.
While working with TCEQ on the current matter, it was discovered that several other outstanding violations were showing up on the records even though they had been corrected many years ago. In his video, Angerstein explained, “We went ahead and included those public notices in order to start with a clean slate, so to speak, with TCEQ.” Those notices are in reference to lead and copper testing in 2019 and violations from 2018 and 2019 involving low disinfectant levels. Angerstein noted that all the violations were for procedural issues, not contaminate problems or issues of water quality.
“We want to assure that the water is always safe and of good quality,” Angerstein said, “And we want to be accountable for our actions.”
If you have any questions, you can call Angerstein at 936-544-5156, or more technical questions can be directed to the utility superintendent. You can view the original video on the City of Crockett Facebook page.