San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 28th, 2010
City shuts down Hunter Road water well

city-hall-pic2aSTAFF REPORT

San Marcos officials have shut down a well that supplies water to 1.7 percent of the city’s system supply after a raw water sample tested positive for E. coli, a bacterial contaminant.

No boil water notice is required. The city water utility is taking action to flush and disinfect the well. No E.coli bacteria has been detected in the city’s distribution system samples.

The city received the positive test result Thursday afternoon from the Soyars Well on Hunter Road.

Water system personnel are working to restore water quality to the well. All raw water is disinfected before it is distributed as potable water. To assure the city’s treated water maintains a high quality, samples from the water distribution system are taken and analyzed for the presence of bacterial contamination on a monthly basis. No E. coli bacteria have been detected in the distribution system samples. Bacteria are commonly present in the environment and raw water supply sources.

The following actions are being taken by the city:

· The well that tested positive for E. coli has been discontinued from active service.

· Water system employees will begin flushing the well in order to provide fresh water to the well.

· Disinfection of the well will be utilized if flushing is unsuccessful.

· Further bacterial samples will be collected to confirm the results.

City officials say they are working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to insure all regulatory requirements are adhered to and public health is protected at all times.

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27 thoughts on “City shuts down Hunter Road water well

  1. Could this have anything to do with 700 septic systems on the recharge zone that are now failing and leaking into our aquifer? Maybe we need some enforcement of state, county and municipal regs to make sure folks out in Mordor are complying….

  2. “follks out in Mordor”? Is that supposed to indicate disdain for our rural friends with septic systems? I think if it were failed septic systems it would be fecal coliform.

  3. Yes, Bob. It indicates disdain for “our friends” with septic systems leaking into our aquifer who raised holy hell when the City (belatedly) annexed them. They were successful in de-annexing, because they are so crazy it was decided it was better to “cut them loose.”
    And yeah, it would have taken years to get everyone on city sewer, but it would have been done eventually, which is more than we can say now.

  4. Chris, I challenge you to produce one shred of evidence that those or any other septic systems are leaking into any aquifer anywhere.

  5. Bob, I challenge YOU to prove they are not. YOU CAN”T! You know why?
    Because it’s the RECHARGE ZONE, which by it’s very nature, LEAKS! I love it when you people say,”Well I’ve lived here for 20 years and my septic system has never given me a problem! We’re fine on septic and we don’t need city sewer service…” It does not take a genius to figure out why. Because instead of maintaining the septic system and pumping the sewage out on occasion, they let gravity take care of it. God I’m so sick of you people.

  6. Chris, if it were truly a problem there would be studies to back up your assertion. There aren’t. And what do you mean by “you people”? That sounds kind of bigoted.

  7. What Im sick of is the same 20- 25 people in this town b*tching and moaning about every progressive step this town is trying to take ! ITS ABSURD!!! If the people on the council that they are against vote for anything against what they like they B*itch and moan ! Look at the people on council that “agree with you all” It aint all flowers and roses. Although we , Or you all 20-25 people hesitate to bring out their downfalls on this site! I dont play that game so you all can go on hateing on people on the council that you hate and or disagree with and slander the hell out of them. I know stuff that you guys know that I knowand it aint cute , but I refuse to go that route ! I am sick of this crap ! Lets unite to get something done on a positive note in this damm town ! If we all work together we can do this! When you create animosity against other people nothing can progress! And yes Im on the board of CONA ! And lets just see where this post gets me… At this point I really dont give a flying ….! Amy and I have been on different sides of the fence on alot of issues and still remain friends! Thats what friends are about , although after this , who knows.. PEOPLE ! Wake up ! we are all in this together, so lets work together to reach a common gound !
    Just FYI.. this is only a prelude of things to come !
    That is all….

    Elena Duran
    Board Member – San Marcos CONA

  8. Very well said Elena!!! And so true. One can only hope that you will follow thru with “…this is only a prelude of things to come” and let readers know the truth behind some of those who push their narrow minded, backwards, and selfish agendas rather than focus on what’s best for the ENTIRE city.

  9. and if responsible growth, ethical government and clean water is a narrow minded agenda, then my agenda is paper-thin. I can’t wait for November.

  10. No Chris I have Not ! Maybe I should have gone ! Its absurd! lets all work together to reach a common gound ! this S*it is getting old ! Bit*ching and moaning is not gonna get things done ! Im just sick of it ! And dont even talk to me about the last three years of CONA ! Oh wait… Ive already talked to you about that !

  11. Okay ! Lets talk about the “Parks”… Im all for them …. BUT ! If everyone that wants more parkland would go out to the parks we already have with a weed whacker and cut a trail I would be happy ! Dont ask for another PARK if we cant take care of the ones we have ! We cant even use the parks/ trails that we have !! Maybe we should all just go play tennis ! If we can get the skateboardes of the tennis courts first !

  12. “what the hell are you talking about? Have you been to happy hour this evening?”

    That’s hilarious!

    And probably accurate.

    “responsible growth, ethical government and clean water”

    You’re asking WAAAAY too much there, Chris.

    Better back off!

    (see you there in November.)

  13. And Chris,

    “What do you mean by “you people”? That sounds kind of bigoted.”

    Better watch what you say about “De-annexed Americans”.

  14. Which e coli strain was it? You’re going to find e coli everywhere, even you Chris North are harboring these bacteria in your digestive tract but I won’t scream that I’m tired of your sh*t. My thoughts – it’s more likely cattle than human.

  15. On Thursday EAA staff gave a great lecture to septic inspectors and designers on the potential for septic system effluent over the Recharge Zone to enter the aquifer.

  16. “Dont ask for another PARK if we cant take care of the ones we have ! ”

    All it takes Ms. Duran, is our Mayor and her City Council (4 to 3) voting block to properly and competently prioritize where our (my) tax money is spent.

    Certainly the SIX MILLION DOLLARS that was GIVEN AWAY to the Stonecreek developers,

    would have covered many improvements and services to benefit our neighborhoods (CONA?????), our parks, our downtown and our overall quality of life, here in San Marcos.

    But no.

    And that list of flagrance and abuse continues, and will continue.

    157 days and counting.

  17. Morning Elena!

    So Jason, I am dying to know what you learned on Thursday from the EAA.
    Is there any new technology/info to share?

  18. “one shred of evidence that those or any other septic systems are leaking into any aquifer anywhere.” Any ? Anywhere ? Gee thats way too easy. 1981 an old well in georgetown polluted by leaks from sewage pipes in the city water utilities building. Several thousand sick. Some time late 80’s or early /mid 90s; sewer overflow caused when lightning struck a lift station and caused it to fail, brushy creek near Georgetown. 4000 – 5000 cases of dysentery. OK not septic systems. The main point here is that there are several hundred septic systems servicing homes in the Willow Creek subdivision, which if I am not mistaken is sort of close to the well in question. Many of those systems were installed before present day rules for system sizing and soil requirements were enacted in 1997. today a conventional type of system must show 4 foot thickness of soil and a 3 bedroom house would need 2400 to 2700+ square feet of bed area depending on what type of system is used. back in 78 a similar system would commonly be installed with 2 or 3, 60 foot long trenches blasted into fractured limestone. Dont try to tell me these systems are not a non-point source of e.coli They dont have the soil and they are 37.5% of the size needed. Also, how many head of cattle are in this contributing watershed vs how many humans ( and their dogs)

  19. “OK not septic systems.” These are examples of raw sewage. The fact is, e coli has a very short half life and septic systems are very effective.
    It seems simple that any county health dept anywhere could require die packs in the systems and detect infiltration into the water table but no sch results are available…..

  20. there is no difference between sewer line sewage and septic tank influent. settling in the tank reduces the organic load by 25 % so septic tank effluent and sewer pipe effluent are not exactally the same. But for the purpose of contaminanting sensitive karst aquifers either one will do. Properly designed and maintained septic systems work. old out of date systems start to have problems. There is a history of old systems in Willow Creek failing and being replaced. The traditional sign that a septic system is failing is surfacing water on the drainfield. That wont happen if the effluent goes into fractured limestone. I am not saying that septic systems in willow creek are bad or that many are failing , it only takes a few. Most of the horrific public water supply contamination cases where limestone aquifer wells made thousands of people sick can be tracted back to single sources. sewer pipes also leak. so which would be worse. lots of trenches with sewer pipes servicing neighborhoods, or individual septic systems, which also means larger lot size ? just by cutting trenches in bedrock and filling them with sandy loam soil or gravel like is done for all water pipes and other infrastructure makes new recharge pathways into the limestone

    dye tracing into septic tanks is an old technique. these days DNA can be used and individual households identified. kinda expensive tho.

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