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City to potentially extend chlorine conversion

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 9:03 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The smell of chlorine in our water could be sticking around a little while longer.

On Monday night, the utilities director announced to city council that they will be asking the state if the can continue the chlorine conversion process.

“I’ve sent a request to the state to make sure that we consider something additional because the 30 days period is working but we may need a little extra to make sure nothing comes back.”

The free chlorine conversion set to end around August fourth or fifth could continue for another 30 days.

Utilities Director Arturo Garcia says it will only be extended as a precautionary measure.

“Because of what’s happened before with other municipalities like what happened with Corpus. When they did that 30 day conversion and they started collecting samples, they started seeing bacteria... because of what fell off the pipes.”

Garcia says no bacteria has been found in our water system over the last two years, and when it comes to questions from the public about whether the presence of chlorine in the water is safe, he had this to say:

“I understand the residuals it is safe. The water is safe to drink.”

District 7 Councilmember Vanessa Perez raised a question about citizen reports of animals passing away or people getting sick, potentially from the water.

Assistant City Manager Riazul Mia says at-home filtration systems take away chlorine and adds that they check for bacteria anytime they get samples of low levels, so he doesn’t believe this is a result of the water.

“I understand people get sick and maybe die but it is a very delicate thing because we don’t know if it’s coming from our water,” said Mia. “Our water ends at the meter and if anything goes inside your home we don’t have no control.”

During the council meeting, the utilities director asked that a consultant be hired to provide direction and recommendations to staff.

A motion was made to hire Ardurra, the firm that helped Corpus Christi bring their water to a superior rating.

The consulting firm was present during at the meeting and accepted.

During the meeting, the utilities director provided a presentation on their procedural changes, water quality action plan, corrective actions, and more.

You can watch that full presentation by clicking here.

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