Water violations for City of Devine cite “failure to test”

A public notice this week details several violations relating to Devine city water that occurred last year. Most of the violations pertain to the “failure to test” over a dozen major routine contaminants. Two other violations were regarding failure to provide notice to the community. One violation was for high levels of Ecoli discovered in the LC Martin well after the well went down in the ice storm and was disconnected from the water system.
You can find details in the public notice and in this article.
The 10 page report states that the City of Devine failed to test for the following contaminants and were in violation for a 1 year period (January 2022 through December 2022) while sampling began.
“When Isamel retired and left, there was miscommunication about what reports and sampling needed to be done. To get back in compliance, they required public works to do 40 samples which we started collecting in March of 2022,” said interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez in an interview Tuesday.
“Everything has been coming out good since we started getting samples,” Public Works Director Pete Sanchez added. “We did have some samples with Nitrate that were a little high, but not over the limit.”
The contaminants in question were: Nitrate, Trichloroethane , Dichloroethylene, Trichlorobenzene, dichloroethane, dichloropropane, benzene, chlorobenzene, styrene, Toluene, Trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, xylenes, ethylbenzene, chlorobenzene, carbon tetrachloride, tetrachloroethylene, dichlorobenzene, and dichloromethane.
Explanations cite that it is important to monitor these levels as they are known to cause problems with liver, kidney, nervous system, circulatory system, cancer, immune system, adrenal gland, decrease in blood platelets, and/or anemia, IF any of them were to be high. Specifically, nitrate is especially dangerous for newborn babies under the age of six months as high levels can cause serious illness or death, shortness of breath or blue baby syndrome. HOWEVER, city officials assured us that none of these contaminants showed as being over the limit in this time frame, according to Rodriguez and Sanchez.
The report states that all of the reporting issues have been resolved, except the positive Ecoli samples from the LC Martin well which was found in October of 2022.
According to Rodriguez and Sanchez, per the Ecoli violation, this LC Martin well where Ecoli was detected had been out of operation since February 202–for months before the sample was taken. After the ice storm, the well went down and they disconnected it, Rodriguez said. They were hoping to get it back online but after three positive Ecoli samples, they abandoned the hope of using the well for the time being, Sanchez stated.
“It wasn’t even connected to the water system at the time of the positive samples,” Rodriguez said.
“We take samples every month for bacteria, so we are confident that there was no Ecoli when the well was in use, and it is still disconnected at this time,” Sanchez added.
Sanchez noted that the city is also testing the asbestos level every quarter voluntarily because of the ongoing construction.
Also in the report, were two violations for failure to notify consumers of high levels of LEAD (violation April 1-4, 2022) and had a public notice violation on September 2, 2022.