City of Pflugerville failed to adequately treat water for months, but ‘water is safe to drink’

(Courtesy Fotolia)
(Courtesy Fotolia)

(Courtesy Fotolia)

For about a year—October 2018 to September 2019, excluding the months of December and April—the city of Pflugerville “failed to meet the minimum treatment techniques” for its water supply, according to a public notice issued by the city Nov. 5.

“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.
By Taylor Jackson Buchanan
Taylor Buchanan joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 after completing a master of journalism degree from the University of Texas. She worked as the senior reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition and is now the editor for the company's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition.


MOST RECENT

Williamson County added 54 confirmed cases of the coronavirus Sept. 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Williamson County adds 54 confirmed cases of coronavirus Sept. 18

As of Sept. 18, eight patients are hospitalized, four are in intensive care units and seven are on a ventilator.

Round Rock ISD families can now monitor the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases by campus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock ISD launches COVID-19 dashboard

Round Rock ISD families can now monitor the number of confirmed coronavirus cases by campus.

Central Health administrative building in Austin
Central Health finalizes budget with increased tax rate, more health care services for low-income residents

Local health care district Central Health is budgeting a nearly $20 million increase in health care delivery services for Austin’s low-income residents.

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Baylor Scott & White Health to host 9 Austin-area drive-thru flu shot clinics

"This season is a big, black box, and there are a lot of unknowns, as far as what the season's going to look like," said Dr. Bradley Berg, a BSW pediatrics doctor in Round Rock.

Chief Academic and Innovation Officer Brandy Baker said the act of maintaining two separate learning environments could lead to a one-two punch of teachers burning out and students not receiving the quality of education they need. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pflugerville ISD outlines struggles of balancing in-person, virtual curricula

Based on current struggles teachers are facing, Chief Academic and Innovation Officer Brandy Baker said she will distribute a survey to teachers the week of Sept. 20 to determine struggles, impact and needs regarding simultaneous on-campus and virtual instruction.

Over 11,000 students returned to RRISD campuses this week as in-person learning resumed Sept. 15. (Community Impact staff)
'I’ve cried almost every day': Inside Round Rock ISD's return to in-person learning

Over 11,000 students returned to RRISD campuses this week as in-person learning resumed Sept. 15.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Williamson County added 35 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and two new deaths Sept. 17. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County adds 35 confirmed cases, 2 deaths to coronavirus count Sept. 17

Of the total cases reported, 8,187 are estimated to have recovered.

Austin City Limits Music Festival will present a free virtual broadcast from Oct. 9-11. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Free virtual broadcast of ACL Music Festival to be held Oct. 9-11 and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Pflugerville to relocate COVID-19 testing site

Pflugerville's testing location is operated from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Saturday where a maximum of 300 people can be tested each day at the site.

As overall residential sales decreased 7.5% in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto in August, townhouse sales skyrocketed by 157.7% in the region. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Townhouse sales spike by 158% in Round Rock, Pflugerville

Overall residential sales decreased by 7.5% in August as townhouse sales skyrocketed.