News Briefs: Worms Invade Neighborhood Drinking Water

In this week's water and wastewater news, water customers get an unpleasant surprise in their tap water, Lake Erie water intakes test positive for microcystin and Texas drought restrictions return.
News Briefs: Worms Invade Neighborhood Drinking Water

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Residents from the Woodland Acres Subdivision near Houston, Texas, are dealing with wormy tap water after a power outage disrupted services at J&S Water, the private company that services the area.

According to a KHOU 11 report, residents gathered in the street Wednesday afternoon to compare tap water samples that contained red and black worms. One resident even brought a sprinkler head, which had been clogged by worms.

“This water was coming out of the bathroom faucet,” said resident Tara Miles in the report as she held up a bottle of water that contained several worms.

The water company says after the power outage, the water distribution system was flushed and the water was tested several times. According to the article, the company is blaming other sources, such as the pipes, for the infestation.

Mayor Joe Landry offered bottled water and a location for showers to the residents.

A J&S Water spokesman said the company is working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to solve the problem.

Source: KHOU

Microcystin Detected in Lake Erie Raw Water Intakes

The City of Toledo has changed its water quality level from “clear” to “watch” status after samples from an intake crib showed detectable microcystin levels in the City’s raw lake water intakes. As of July 29, the City reported a 1.0 ppb reading in raw water and non-detectable amounts in treated tap water.

The rating system is a new protocol, meant to better inform the public on water quality. It was put into place after last August’s water crisis, which left the City without drinking water for three days. New monitoring devices, including three water-quality-monitoring sondes, also provide better data on potential toxins. According to a report in the Toledo Blade, the devices provide advance warning so the city can adjust chemical treatment.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted a severe algal bloom for Lake Erie this summer. Although the bloom is currently anchored near Port Clinton and Catawba Island, wind direction, wave action and other factors can cause the bloom to shift within hours.

Port Clinton recorded raw intake microcystin levels at 1.7 ppb on Monday.

Source: Toledo Blade, City of Toledo

They’re Back! Texas Drought Restrictions Return

Although record rainfalls in Texas provided a short reprieve from drought restrictions, the water wasn’t enough to maintain some aquifer levels. San Antonio announced a return to Stage 1 drought restrictions this week when the Edwards Aquifer dropped below 660 feet.

“While the rain we received earlier this year greatly improved aquifer levels, it wasn’t enough to completely remove the prospect of drought restrictions,” says Robert Puente, president/CEO of San Antonio Water System in a press release. “We have ample supply of water from the Edwards and six other sources, but state law requires us to cut back on pumping when the Edwards Aquifer reaches certain levels.”

Stage 1 restrictions mandate the use of sprinkler or irrigation systems.

Source: SAWS press release



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