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San Pedro Community to Receive Alternative Water Supplier

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SAN PEDRO – Residents in the small community of San Pedro are finally getting the big changes they have been pushing for following years of struggle with their water service. 

Many tell CHANNEL 5 NEWS the water from their faucets is either yellow or brown in color, smells bad and can’t be used to drink or bathe.

Yadira Lopez is finally looking forward to opening the faucet at home. For years, she pushed for a fix.

“We deserve it. After such a long time, we finally – like I said, we are very happy,” said Lopez.

She and her neighbors at Gem Estates, off Highway 281 in San Pedro, have been struggling with the water at their homes.

Lopez had shown CHANNEL 5 NEWS pictures of what she says often happens and she claims it’s not just the water’s appearance that’s caused them issues.

“Economically, well we’ve had health issues and having to replace appliances and granite counter tops, toiletries, stuff like that that’s gotten ruined,” she said.

Lopez is a customer with Military Highway Water Supply Corporation. She says she's asked the corporation for years to fix the problem until now. 

The general manager for the corporation, Ramon Rosales, tells us they paid $10,000 to put in the necessary infrastructure to connect to Brownsville’s water supply.

The corporation will buy water from the Brownsville Public Utilities Board to provide to more than 400 customers in the area.

“Our water is good. It meets the state standards. It’s just going to be a different situation. Now, the water is going to taste completely different because it’s a different type of water, it’s surface water versus groundwater,” said Rosales.

Cameron County Precinct 2 Commissioner Alex Dominguez tells us sediment was building up in the water pipes and overtime was contributing to the water discoloration.

Rosales tells us things like pipe ruptures due to weather or construction only aggravated the situation more, resulting in the water being funneled to customers’ homes often.

“There was a lot of skepticism by the people of San Pedro, wondering if this was actually going to be a solution because they've been hearing many offers of a fix for years to come and it wasn't coming. Given the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, they thought, well this is our Flint, Michigan,” said Dominguez.

As pastor of the Templo Monte de Olivos in San Pedro, Mely Mares says she heard plenty of the complaints. She, herself, had yellow water issues at home.

“I have a four-month-old granddaughter and we only use bottled water to bathe her. We do not use the water from the faucet to bathe the baby,” said Mares.

She says the change of water service shows what can be accomplished when a community sticks together to demand basic needs.

Although this is considered a temporary solution, San Pedro customers could be supplied by BPUB for several years.

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