A computer programming error in December potentially affected around 80,000 gallons of water, which is less than 2% of the city’s daily water usage, according to the Jan. 13 news release. During a routine test Dec. 24, a membrane integrity test incorrectly categorized a substandard water filtration membrane as functioning within acceptable levels. That membrane remained in production for approximately 2 1/2 hours, per the release.
“The city’s top priority is the health and safety of its citizens, therefore for additional redundancy, city staff has implemented the requirement that water operators confirm manually that all testing functions meet TCEQ [Texas Commission on Environmental Quality] standards regardless of the computer display,” City Manager Sereniah Breland said in the release.
After the issue was discovered, staff found the turbidity level, which is the level of clarity of the water, was compliant with the TCEQ, state and federal requirements, the release states.
At issue is that the damaged membranes are less effective at filtering out the presence of cryptosporidium, a parasite that can cause symptoms including diarrhea, cramps and headaches. However, the December treatment violation does not mean cryptosporidium is or was present in the city’s drinking water, per the release.
“The city has ordered an independent third-party test of Pflugerville water to restore consumer confidence and provided additional water reports on our website to show that our plant continues to produce water that meets or exceeds federal and state guidelines,” Breland said in the release.
A public notice will be mailed to all city of Pflugerville, Manville Water Supply Corp. and Windermere Utility water customers, per the release. Additional information is available at www.pflugervilletx.gov/water.