Black Water in Texas Is Causing Outrage

February 19th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

The water coming out of residential faucets in Crystal City, Texas, looked more like dark roast coffee, after a water tank was flushed without warning on Wednesday. It led schools to temporarily close and volunteers to hand out water bottles to concerned residents, with many complaining about the city's insufficient response to the public utility dilemma.

Earlier this month, the FBI arrested six of eight elected officials in Crystal City — including the mayor, Ricardo Lopez, who officially resigned on Friday — on charges related to alleged bribery and illegal immigrant smuggling schemes, the Associated Press reported. While no direct links have been drawn between the federal crackdown and the water situation, the timing has raised questions about the city's responsiveness to the current issue.

"The majority of the residents were surprised and shocked to find black water coming out of the faucets on Wednesday," an administrator for the We Are Crystal Facebook page, who wished to remain anonymous, told ATTN: in a Facebook message. "We were not notified about our Water Tower being flushed at all so we didn't know why this was happening."

The administrator continued:

"It has been chaotic at city hall to say the least. Many started sharing the pictures to FB and the news stations in San Antonio picked it up. It turns out that it is just dirt being flushed through our water lines and now our water seems to be ok but people are still paranoid and cautious about using the water."


For the most part, the situation appears to have been resolved. Schools were reopened on Friday after being temporarily closed due to the abrupt change in water quality in the middle of the week. Sediment left over in the water supply was flushed and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality determined that the water met the state's basic safety standards, ABC 12 reported.

Nonetheless, city staffers and volunteers continued to hand out water bottle and even arranged to have a 5,000-gallon truck filled with drinkable water on Friday.

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