“Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms,” the notice states. “These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.”
However, city staff says corrective action has been taken, and water is safe to drink.
“Water is safe to drink, and no action is needed by the consumer,” city of Pflugerville Communications Director Terri Toledo told Community Impact Newspaper.
Specifically, the city failed to meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s cryptosporidium removal requirements, according to the notice. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can cause symptoms including diarrhea, cramps and headaches.
According to the city, filtration membranes help remove cryptosporidium from water. The presence of zebra mussels damaged some of the water filtration membranes, which in turn decreased the effectiveness of the filtration at the city’s surface water treatment plant.
Upon learning of the damaged membranes, the city took “immediate corrective action,” to ensure the water now meets TCEQ standards, Toledo said. The filtration membranes have been repaired and monitoring processes are in place to prevent this from happening in the future, she said.
In addition, the city hired industry experts to perform an overall treatment process analysis, enhanced staff training, and implemented facility improvements so that these treatment technique violations do not recur, according to the notice.
“The city will continue to work closely with the TCEQ and industry experts to meet or exceed TCEQ drinking water quality standards for safe drinking water,” the notice states.
Pflugerville residents will receive a copy of the notice in the mail this week, Toledo said. For more information, visit www.pflugervilletx.gov/water or call 512-990-6115.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to clarify the role of water filtration membranes in the removal of cryptosporidium.