State Reviewing Roma’s Water System
ROMA – The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality is reviewing the Roma water system. Water samples from the city were last evaluated in 2012.
TCEQ said every city in Texas has what’s called a “community water system.” Those systems are required to monitor their water for lead and copper.
The problem is when cities don’t send in their samples, the state can’t check to make sure the water is healthy.
It takes more than .015 milligrams of lead or 1.3 milligrams copper in a liter of water to be considered “too corrosive” by the state. Some Roma residents said they don’t know how corrosive their water is.
“They’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. It’s wrong,” Eulogio Reyna said.
TCEQ required Roma to test again in 2015, but they did not send samples. No samples were sent in 2016 either.
The city got a violation from the TCEQ for failure to submit samples. And in 2016, they received another violation. The city failed to disclose that to the people living Roma.
TCEQ reminded them they are required to notify. The city received a total of three violations.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS tried to contact plant manager Jose Vela for the past five days. We made a trip to Roma and spoke to him by phone.
“We were supposed to send (samples) in 2015 and for some reason we didn’t do them. So we were going to do them. We were supposed to do them in 2016, and then I received a letter to do them in 2017,” Vela said.
We looked it up and found in 2006, 2009 and 2012 Roma water samples showed positive for copper. Traces of lead were also found in 2012.
Vela said they were going to start testing the water next week.
The TCEQ said Roma has until June 30 to collect 60 liters of water from different sample sites and send them in.
“I received a letter to send samples by July of this year. So we’re going to start testing this year,” Vela said.
The TCEQ said they’re waiting for the samples.
“At this point, what they’re doing and they’re charging… I don’t know what to think no more,” Reyna said.
The TCEQ said public water systems requiring state enforcement can be fined anywhere from $50 to $1,000 a day per violation.
Roma remains under review and hasn’t been fined.
The TCEQ said when a public water system doesn’t meet a drinking water standard they must tell their customers.
The commission said the rule is in place to keep people who may be drinking from the water system informed of possible health risks. They said it’s especially important to keep in mind for people who immunocompromised.
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