The city of McKinney is taking steps to deal with contaminated groundwater underneath its old cotton gins and industrial facilities.

The groundwater underneath about 31 acres east of Hwy. 5 is considered unsafe for human consumption, but it does not pose a threat to the neighborhoods surrounding the property, city staff said during the Aug. 17 City Council meeting.

"Historically speaking, there's been all kinds of industrial and agricultural different activities, and over time they have some spills and discharges and whatnot," city staff said. "This is not uncommon for any city."

McKinney City Council voted to establish a municipal setting designation for the property. The designation would prohibit the groundwater from being used for drinking, bathing, cooking or irrigation.

With the designation, a notice will go out to all registered drinking water wells within 5 miles of the property. There are about 119 water wells, per staff reports. All municipalities and water utility districts would also be notified, but there are none within range, staff said.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will have to review and certify the city’s application for the municipal setting designation, staff said.

"Before we submit anything to the state, council has to pass this ordinance tonight. The state has to see that the city wants to go through this process," staff said.

Council voted unanimously to approve the designation.