Customers circulating petition to change water supplier - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Customers circulating petition to change water supplier

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV

A customer of a water supply corporation in Belton that had an outage last week is circulating a petition for the City of Belton or Harker Heights to take over the company.

Dog Ridge Water Supply customer Mike Pedersen who used to work for the contractor that ran the company before, started the petition because of what he referred to as constant problems. He said he doesn’t trust the current management to run the company. In addition, he believes the quality of the water is poor and the system is unreliable.

"The water has a smell, the water comes out looking disgusting. There is so many issues whether we have water or not, whether we have pressure or not,” Pedersen said.

Katrina Montelongo who became a Dog Ridge Water Supply customer two months ago also questions the quality of the water.

"There have been times, especially putting them in the bathtub, our kids, that we have noticed it being a little bit brown, even in the toilets or in the sink. When out, it doesn't run clear. Sometimes it actually looks a little bit foamy,” Montelongo said.

Dog Ridge Water Supply Board of Directors President Wayne Rutherford said they have tested the water even when it was discolored in the past and it was deemed safe to drink.  

Rutherford said the last time the company issued a water boil notice, tests also showed the water was clean. On Monday, the company, which has customers under a boil water notice, sent additional samples to be tested.

He said he understands people being concerned about their water and its contents.

"We work hard to make sure the water is of quality and safe. Being concerned is a good thing. And we are going to do everything we can to make sure they don't need to be,” said Rutherford.

In terms of reliability of the system, Rutherford said they are better prepared to handle another emergency, such as a water outage.

"We have done everything we can to make steps and preparations. If there is another emergency, we have a little bit experience under our belts to handle that emergency."

During last week's outage, Montelongo said she was without water for several days and the company's alert system didn't work as she expected.

"Luckily we have family that lives nearby so with the last water outage we were able to go there and bathe there. We kind of have a stockpile of plastic and knives and silverware just in case something happens and we are not able to wash our dishes right away," Montelongo.

The petition asks the City of Belton or Harker Heights to manage the water supply corporation now called Dog Ridge. Pedersen said he has already received half of the 300 signatures he expects to present during the next Belton City Council meeting.

"We are trying to do is to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, we know the city can't step in and take it but by going to Belton and asking them to start looking into this, maybe it will get the wheels turning and the board here will start looking at that. It's just to get the idea started and hopefully get somewhere with it,” Pedersen said.

Rutherford said they would like to work with the City of Belton in the future, including the city supplying water for normal operations, fighting fires or helping with their infrastructure.

“Circulating the petition and asking to be added to Belton Water supply really is not going to be that can be done overnight. That is something that has to be worked out between the Dog Ridge Water Supply and the City of Belton and the State of Texas,” Rutherford said.

The City of Belton said the Dog Ridge Board of Directors would have to approach the city to discuss whether changes would occur in terms of management.

To sign the petition, you can stop by Big Ron's Tire and Brake or email dogridgepetition@gmail.com.

You can find the petition online, here

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality released the following statement regarding Dog Ridge Water Supply outage last week:

“By 11:00 p.m. on July 29, 2016, Dog Ridge WSC had repaired several line leaks in the system, and restored water service to all customers.  The water system is currently maintaining adequate water pressure and disinfectant residuals throughout the distribution system.  However, the boil water notice remains in effect until confirmation that the results from samples that were collected [on Monday] by Dog Ridge WSC are absent coliform organisms.

The TCEQ Waco Region staff will continue to work with the system, and monitor disinfectant residuals. The TCEQ will also deploy a water pressure recorder on the system to monitor pressure within the distribution system.”

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the agency received seven complaints between June 8 and July 7 alleging discolored drinking water and concerns regarding water quality. On July 21, the agency received one complaint alleging low water pressure and exposed distribution lines. At this time the investigation into those allegations are ongoing.

The compliance History Report for the corporation from July 1, 2014 until July 21, 2016 and an administrative order issued to Dog Ridge was effective May 24, 2016 is included below.

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