A Central Texas community is upset after a local water company responded to their concerns with a Facebook video customers have deemed disrespectful.
Kempner Water Supply was fined $515 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in 2017 for two violations: Trihalomethane (TTHM) levels in the water nearly twice the allowed amount in 2016 and an inaccurate Consumer Confidence Report in 2015 that also incorrectly reported TTHM levels.
TTHMs are not dangerous in small amounts but drinking high amounts for several years can cause liver, kidney, and central nervous system problems, as well as cancer. TCEQ has not confirmed the TTHM levels to be acceptable as of yet.
Friday, Kempner Water Supply posted a video on its Facebook page showing employees drinking the water and smiling. The Facebook post read: "The water is perfectly safe to drink."
Customers say the video posted by Kempner Water Supply proves nothing, and said last summer the water was sometimes yellow or brown.
"The video said that my concerns were silly," Patty Bright, a Kempner Water Suppy customer, said. "Whatever they said is golden? Even though they are not reporting? I can't trust them but they are telling me to trust them anyway. That doesn't work."
According to TCEQ documents, TTHMs were above state approved levels as early as the third quarter of 2016, but customers say they never heard about the issue until after the fact. Kempner Water Supply Corporation evenutally created a facebook page to inform people if the issue around October of 2016.
"On a postcard they sent out... stating that they had problems back in august but they failed to report it to the customers," Steve Bright said.
Consumers are now turning to bottled water as a substitute, and said they want Kempner Water Supply Corporation to treat them and their health seriously.
"That's not a way to address concerns," Patty Bright said. "Maybe a better video would be to tell us what they will do to ensure in the future we have good water."
Kempner Water Supply released the following statement:
Dear Member/Owners, the Board of Directors, Management, and Employees of the Kempner Water Supply offer their sincerest apologies to those who may have been and were offended by the video of some of our management and employees drinking KWSC water. The intent of the posting was not to be condescending to nor devalue the concerns of our Member/Owners but was merely to illustrate that the employees trust in the quality and safety of our water. Once again, the Board, Management, and Employees offer our sincerest apologies to anyone that took offense to this video.
As always the Board of Directors invites all Member/Owners or other interested parties to attend the monthly meeting on Wednesday July 19, 2017 at the KWSC office.