BELTON - Customers of the Dog Ridge Water Supply Company have been dealing with multiple water issues over the last few months. Water became discolored, water lines broke and multiple areas lost water service for several days.
There were 19 different incidents reported to the The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality over that time and the TCEQ began an investigation of the company on June 10th. That investigation lasted over two months and the report was finally released in early September.
While the TCEQ was able to work with the company to solve some issues, they also found multiple violations regarding a lack of disinfectant in the water system. Water systems must have a minimum of 0.2 mg/L "free chlorine" or 0.5 mg/L "chloramine" to prevent the growth of bacteria.
The report stated that on one site visit by TCEQ the totals were less than half what they should be for more than 24 hours, resulting in a violation. It also stated that the Dog Ridge Water Supply Company did not measure the levels of those disinfecting chemicals daily as required, but instead waited until they had to go out to a location to flush lines. That resulted in another violation.
The TCEQ released a statement to Channel 6 News on the importance of meeting disinfectant standards. It also said the agency had found samples at the water company that tested positive for bacteria:
"Microbes in water that is inadequately treated can cause short-term health effects such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, some of the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems.
On August 1, 2016, Dog Ridge collected two Routine/Distribution samples from sample sites listed as 4113 FM 1670 which was positive for both total coliform bacteria and Escherichia (E. coli)indicators." -TCEQ
The water system also received violations for not having equipment that could add disinfectant to the water if needed, for not inspecting a 3,000 gallon water tank for more than a year, and for not having at least two licensed class "C" operators.
The report said the water company is still out of compliance on those violations when we received it, which was September 6th. TCEQ representatives also said that the Dog Ridge Water Supply Company is subject to penalties from their Enforcement division due to those violations.