EPA says arsenic levels too high in Leroy - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

LEROY

EPA says arsenic levels too high in Leroy

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LEROY -

The Leroy, Tours Gerald Water Supply Corporation has received a non compliance letter from the Environmental Protection Agency for having too much arsenic in their water. The EPA is making  the city of Leroy clean up its water fast or face paying more than $37,000 a day in fines.

The LTG Water Supply Corporation says they're out of options and the only solution to contract their water out from the city of Waco. Many residents voiced their concerns about their water bills skyrocketing at the annual meeting held Thursday.

One resident, Anna Willenborg said they can't expect residents to pick up the check to pay for the new water contract. She said it was outrageous that her water bill could be $150 or more. She went on to say that many people in Leroy won't be able to afford paying that much.

LTG Water Supply Corp. President Richard Kusler, said "People who can handle a $100 cell phone bill will have to handle a $100 water bill. And I think water is more important."

Kusler went on to say that he knows it will be an adjustment but that it's something they're all going to have to deal with. Willenborg, a resident of Leroy for more than two decades, didn't agree.

"Everyone is entitled to have clean water for a fair price. Everything needs to be out in the open. There needs to be more than just a couple of people to decide what's best for the whole community," said Willenborg. 

High arsenic levels are a common problem in Texas because it's a natural mineral found in the soil. It's a problem that affects many cities in the area.

Some of the cities who are dealing with an arsenic problem joined together to create the Falls, Hills, Limestone and McLennan County Water Supply Corporation. The corporation is made up of seven different cities. FHLM was created to find alternative sources of water and distribute back to each of the cities. Those cities will then take that clean water and blend it with their own to dilute the arsenic down to an acceptable level.

LTG Water Supply says they have been trying to get their arsenic levels down for years. They said they have been sending water samples to two different labs to be tested and have been getting inconsistent results. They say the LCRA Lab indicates that their levels are below EPA standards the majority of the time while results from the State Department of Health Lab indicate that their levels are too high.

LTG says they weren't satisfied with the readings and tried to petition the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality but the EPA stepped in to enforce water quality standards.

FHLM President Charles Beseda said, "Basically because the rules changed from 50 parts down to 10 parts is what has put us in the pressure squeeze."

He also said that it's crucial for FHLM sign the contract with Waco so that they can show the EPA they're making progress to avoid the fines.

TCEQ and the EPA could not be reached for an interview.

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