The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality did not notify residents about known E.coli contamination of the drinking water until several hours after they had confirmed it.
T.C.E.Q say the reason for the late announcement was to keep as many businesses and restaurants open for as long as possible.
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According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, it was seven and a half hours after.
T.C.E.Q. says the city confirmed the contamination just before 9 a.m. yesterday morning.
Here’s what happened:
At 10 a.m., the city asked if it could issue the water boil in Flour Bluff only.
At 3:30 p.m., T.C.E.Q. denied that request because the city couldn’t prove that only Flour Bluff was at risk.
The city’s reason for attempting a limited advisory was to keep as many businesses and restaurants open as possible.
Dr. Keith Rose, a local doctor in Corpus Christi, says that was not the way to go.
“It seems to make sense to me, common sense, that you would let everyone know there’s a chance that this could be out there. We’d like you to start boiling your water now. We’ll confirm it and let you know later, because the downside to this you’re going to have a lot of sick people, and you can overload the emergency rooms, the healthcare system,” he says.
The city did notify the public within the time prescribed by state law. In fact, the city had until 9 a.m. this morning to do so.
Dr. Rose doesn’t think anything sinister happened, but believes earlier notice was warranted.
“It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback, and I don’t have all the information, but I can tell you that from a medical standpoint, we’d like to know and I’m sure the folks of Corpus Christi would want to know as soon as possible,” Dr. Rose says.
In 2007, the city waited two days to tell the public about an E.coli contamination, and ended up getting fined by T.C.E.Q.
That incident led to the resignation of the then water director.