An official at Military Highway Water Supply Corporation says that the brown water coming out of some homes is due to the transition they are undergoing with Harlingen Water Works System.
Due to the high water demands during the summer, Military Highway WSC purchased water from Harlingen Water Works System.
However each provides different types of water, Military Highway WSC has ground water and Harlingen Water Works surface water.
According to the Military Highway WSC General Manager, Ramon Rosales Jr., the mix of the two causes the water to come out brown.
When you transition, that you have surface water which is what comes from Harlingen and we have ground water and as they co-mingle then you create some tint and maybe some haze also in water, Rosales said.
Action 4 News contacted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, below is the explanation they gave as to why this happens:
The presence of iron and manganese may cause discoloration of drinking water. A data review of these constituents indicates that the system is in compliance with secondary contaminant levels (SCL). The SCLs are based on the
aesthetic nature of the chemical in that they do not cause physical harm, but can discolor drinking water and may add taste and or odor problems to the drinking water.
Rosales says that the water is safe.
It TMs safe to drink like I mentioned, we are meeting standards for the state and everything is being monitored as we need to follow the guidelines the state of Texas,” Rosales said.
Military Highway WSC is sending to its customers a public notice to notify that they failed to meet the minimum state treatment technique requirements in March and April.
According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, at the end of the month they cannot have a turbidity reading of more than 5 percent.
Each reading cannot pass 0.3 percent.
Turbidity is the clearness of the water.
We have actually to take samples every 15 minutes, so we have 186 samples in a month and if you go over 5% on any of that information, those readings then have to report a violation, Rosales said
Military Hwy WSC had turbidity treatment technique violations for March and April 2014.
In March, out of 186 reading, 34 were above the 0.3 percent.
In April, out of 180 readings, 16 failed.
There could be material in there that very fine and like I said turbidity can even read a bubble believe it or not it will create a interference with that light going through the sample, Rosales said.
The notice warns people that if the water is not properly treated it can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea and headaches.
Rosales says they are taking the matter seriously and working with TCEQ.
Action 4 News asked TCEQ about the water in Military Highway and they said:
The Military Hwy WSC did not report any other problems occurring at the WTP during the time of the violation. Therefore, the other treatment barriers in place at the WTP (clarification, filtration, primary and secondary disinfection) were not
compromised and continued to contribute to removing and killing disease-causing organisms in the overall treatment process.
If you have brown water coming out in your home and you are a customer of Military Highway, call them immediately at 956-565-2491.