NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS-- In September 2016, the City of Nacogdoches received results from well and lake water testing done by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). These results showed elevated levels of Trihalomethanes (THM)--a group of compounds that naturally form when organic materials are mixed with chlorine. City Staff believes the TCEQ tests were flawed and have formally contested the results.
The city hired an independent laboratory to retest the two sites which had been identified by TCEQ with elevated THM levels. Repeated testing continued every two weeks for several months at 6 sites across the City to validate and ensure the safety of our drinking water. Elevated levels of THMs, above the maximum allowable, were never identified, with most results falling nearly 80% lower than the single test by TCEQ.
All test results, both past and present, have never identified unsafe levels of THM in the City.
After several months working with TCEQ, they have denied the request to remove the two elevated test results citing that the re-testing was too far in time after their test to prove that they had inaccurate results. Unfortunately, TCEQ did not initially notify the City of the two elevated results until approximately 6 weeks after the tests were performed, making it impossible to respond with re-tests in a timely manner.
"All tests taken before and immediately after TCEQ's test have showed very low (normal) levels of THMs," City Engineer, Steve Bartlett said. "The city believes these tests results were in error and we continue to dispute them. Until then, we are obligated to repeatedly provide the public with the same notices initially received."
In compliance with State and Federal regulations, the City of Nacogdoches included a State provided public notice describing the test results in the December 2016 water bills. Regulations state that such public notifications must be issued in the water bills every three months until the running average of all tests falls below the maximum contaminant level.
"It is important to note although these notices are repeatedly going to all water consumers, our water supply is safe to drink and citizens do not need to filter, boil or treat their water," Jim Jeffers, City Manager, said. "We will also continue to issue notices and will remain transparent about the process until our dispute is resolved."
Please contact Steve Bartlett, City Engineer, with any questions (936-559-2522 office, 936-556-0945 cell).