Liberty Hill drinking water back to normal radium levels but residents want answers

Investigations

LIBERTY HILL, Texas (KXAN) — Drinking water in Liberty Hill is back to normal after the city sent out letters informing residents the water posed a health concern for radium contamination.

According to the City of Liberty Hill, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said that drinking water supplied to customers from January to March exceeded the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for combined radium (-226 and -228) — a level that is determined to be a health concern.

While a spokesperson for the City of Liberty Hill has said that radium levels are now back to normal, locals — many who were concerned about possible cancer risks — want to know why it took the city so long to tell them.

According to the city, the water was tested after Quarter 1, which is January through March.

The sample was analyzed in April.

Thee city received a violation from TCEQ on June 27 and the city was then required to inform customers within 30 days.

The city took almost all 30 days to do it.

As far as the radium, the city blames one of its oldest wells. A city representative says it was already looking at new well sites when this happened, and that they’ll keep looking for a new site for the one in question.

Meanwhile, water customers like Jen Zandt — who has two kids — are concerned.

“When we have family members fighting cancer currently and my father-in-law passed away of leukemia a few years ago, I’m like, “We already have an increased risk of cancer for our kids, so I don’t need more added on with the water supply.”

Another concern several locals have brought up is the process of communication from the city. They want to know why the notices were mailed, but not posted on the city’s website or on its Facebook page, which is a big way a lot of people receive and share information.

When KXAN asked the city why it wasn’t posted online, it was added.

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