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Local man brings city’s water issues to light

Laredoan who filed complaint with TCEQ also revealed he has been threatened in interview on our Digital News Desk
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 2:17 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2021 at 9:55 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - It was a regular citizen who brought the city’s water issues to light.

He spoke with KGNS News about what led up to his discovery of the unsafe water. While some think of him as a hero, he hasn’t exactly received a hero’s treatment from everyone.

The man behind not one, but two boil water notices in the city of Laredo spoke on the Digital News Desk.

In the revealing interview, Federico Reyes details the moments leading up to the most recent incident.

“I had a call from one of my conmadres and she was very disappointed that her birds died, okay. Cockatoos, and some pajaritos, cotorros, and uh... the first thing that come up to my head is, well, it could be the water, let me go check. So, I got up and I went to go check and sure enough we had that same... I said it’s green, I don’t know.”

If this sounds all too familiar, it is.

Back in 2019, Reyes was behind the city-wide boil water notice after he notified the city and TCEQ of the green in his filtration system.

This time around instead of alerting the city first, Reyes says he went straight to TCEQ.

According to Reyes, their response was immediate.

“They got the water. Boom, they checked it. It said low chlorine. Le dije, again? And they said yeah, again.”

Soon after, the city was notified and a boil water notice was issued to the Chacon Creek area, and later city-wide.

Since that time, Reyes says he hasn’t left his house.

He’s received calls from the mayor who’s apologized and thanked him for his service, he’s been contacted by councilwoman Vanessa Perez, who may not be his representative but wanted to learn more, and has also received support from the community.

But the reaction overall hasn’t been positive, Reyes says there are some people who don’t agree with his actions.

“They probably lost, they’re going to lose their jobs you know... because of me and I know that for a fact, you know, so they might think I’m against them.”

When asked if he’s been threatened, Reyes had this to say:

“I want to say yes, I want to say yes.”

Reyes says this situation was never personal and that he was just looking out for the best interest of the community.

Mayor Pete Saenz was in that same interview and said the boil water notice had been extended due to some equipment failure at the water plant.

As a result of this situation, he says two people were let go, a supervisor was put on suspension, and a higher up was written up.

The full interview on our Digital News Desk can be found on our Facebook page.

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