The City of San Marcos is investigating the cause of contradictory and elevated lead readings found at 5 of 12 test samples in the vicinity of the Hays County Government Center September 4 and September 8, 2014.
Lab results from samples taken September 16, 2014 showed no detectable levels of lead in the original sample area or in sites throughout the City.
The water is in full compliance with state and federal regulations regarding lead in drinking water designed to ensure public health. However, the City is working aggressively and methodically to determine the cause of the conflicting reports and elevated lead readings in the water distribution system and take corrective measures.
Hays County Government Center Sampling
The City began a water sampling program near the Hays County Government Center in response to water quality problems experienced in the building. Tests from samples taken September 4 showed lead readings in three of six samples above the EPA's action levels.
The water system in the area was flushed on September 7, and a new round of samples was taken September 8. These showed 2 of 6 readings above action levels but at different locations from the initial tests. City water distribution personnel conducted 3rd and 4th rounds of sampling September 10.
EPA action levels are triggers for evaluation of system water treatment process and are not violations of state or federal regulations.
The City has asked TCEQ to conduct confirmation sampling through a 3rd party contractor.
Past sampling data have shown no elevated lead levels in the City's source water or readings above action levels in home sampling sites. Water chemistry tests show that the water is non-corrosive and not prone to leaching lead from plumbing.
The City has discussed these results with TCEQ personnel and has hired a contracting firm Alan Plummer and Associates, Inc. (APAI) to help identify possible sources of the elevated lead levels.
Additionally, the City has formed a water quality task force consisting of APAI, the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and City staff to work on addressing the problem. The task force will determine the appropriate next steps regarding additional sampling, interpretation of the results, identification of causes, corrective actions necessary and will start the water treatment analysis as appropriate.
The City has established a special phone number for residents who have questions about the elevated lead readings in the water samples. Call 512-393-8009 from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.
People may also call the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Water Supply Division at 512-239-4691.