City of Paris avoids boil water notice after rolling blackouts

The City of Paris dodged a boil notice earlier this week when a rolling blackout order cut power to a ground storage tank on Center Street. Because of a drop in water pressure resulting in light infiltration of the system, the Texas Commission on Environment Quality required the city to issue a non-acute violation notice.

“This is not a boil water notice, but is a public notice required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for surface water treatment technique Tier 2/Non-Acute violations,” Public Utilities Director Doug Harris said in the notice issued late Friday afternoon.

Non-acute violations are treatment technique violations that do not pose an immediate risk to public health, and are based on treatment plant compliance monitoring data showing the failure of no more than one barrier of filtration and/or disinfection, according to the notice. Furthermore, these violations are based on the understanding that even though a single treatment barrier exceeded a minimum compliance level, other treatment barriers at the plant did offer public health protection.

“Specifically, our water system had more than 5% of the combined filter reading above 0.3 NTU for the month,” Harris said, explaining that a nephelometric turbidity unit is used to measure the presence of suspended particles in water.

“A drop in pressure occurred Monday morning when rolling backout orders cut power to the ground storage tank, Harris said. “It took several hours to make contact with Oncor Electric to get power restored as an essential service.”

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sets minimum water quality standards for public drinking water. These standards include enforceable treatment technique requirements for drinking water. Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches, according to the notice.

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