By Monica Yantosh
WOLFFORTH, TX -- After hearing about the issues for nearly ten years now, the City of Wolfforth is moving onto phase two of their water project, which will filter naturally occurring fluoride and arsenic out of the water.
According to the City Manager, Darrell Newsom, ten years ago, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, lowered the standard of arsenic allowed in water, and Wolfforth became non-compliant.
Since then, in 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency also told the city they needed to get compliant.
Wolfforth has since taken on a $6.5 million project to clean the water up. This is happening in three phases.
The first phase was to bring the wells together. Phase two, which started Monday, is to refurbish and rework the elevated and ground storage tanks.
This means the three water towers in Wolfforth will be getting fixed up.
Phase three will be to construct the water plant and system to filter the water and take the arsenic and fluoride out.
Of the three water towers in Wolfforth, two need to have lead abatement done to them. City Manager Darrell Newsom said they are fixing the water storage sites before taking on the new water system in order to store the water in cleaner facilities.
"We have sand in the water and other components in the water that are naturally occurring in the ground water, so it didn't really make a whole lot of sense to put the brand new clean water into a, well, I guess it's not really a dirty container, but it could be cleaner," Newsom said.
Back in October 2013, water bills for people in Wolfforth went up by about $23 on their water meter to pay for the cost of this project. Currently, the Wolfforth City Council has not voted to make residents pay more for the actual water, just for the meters.
Newsome said much of this construction should go on with very little to no disruption to residents, though water could come up looking a little dirty, but Newsom said it's still safe.
"As usual, if you're stirring up water and you've got some some sand and things of those types, you might see a little bit of dirty water, but it's still, we test it continually, and it should all test to spec," Newsom said.
The next step will be to work on the water plant, and Newsom said they hope to have it up and running in about a year.
By Monica Yantosh