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Corpus Christi Council considers water ban settlement

Lawsuit occurred after December 2016 water ban
Tap water
Posted at 12:18 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 13:18:59-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The State of Texas and City of Corpus Christi may be close to settling a lawsuit that arose following a water ban in December 2016.

On December 14, 2016, Corpus Christi residents were instructed to not use water due to a potential contaminant in the city's water supply.

An investigation by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality revealed there was no backflow prevention device installed at Valero Marketing and Supply Company.

Additionally, TCEQ says there were numerous internal cross-connections in the drinking water supply system at Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions, Inc.

Both facilities independently process asphalt in Corpus Christi.

In a Texas Register Notice, the State of Texas says it is entitled to file suit against the companies for violating a section of the Texas Health and Safety Code, which requires companies to ensure public drinking water supplies are not connected to systems unless there is backflow prevention in place.

While the City provided notice to residents to not use water on Dec. 15, 2016, a report from the TCEQ indicates unknown chemicals were observed in the water supply from Nov. 23, 2016, to Dec. 12, 2016.

As part of the proposed settlement, the city would receive $1.3 million to implement a backflow prevention and compliance project.

The City Council will discuss the proposed settlement in an executive session Tuesday.

Additionally, the two companies will be required to pay the state $1.2 million in civil penalties and $50,000 in legal fees.