Texas taps water to fight mosquito-borne diseases
TEXAS — TEXAS is tapping its water for mosquito repellents and drinking water for people who suffer from dehydration, but some of the tap water may not be the best option for everyone.
Poway Tap Water in Houston was tested Monday for drinking water quality and found to be among the highest of the state.
“It’s the best tap water in the state of Texas,” said Pam Smith, a spokesperson for the company that operates the water system.
The water tested positive for two of the most common contaminants — coliform bacteria and a bacterium called Enterobacter cloacae.
That’s because the tap was not disinfected during the tap-water tests, according to a statement from the Texas Department of Water Resources.
Coliform bacteria is a potentially dangerous organism that can cause diarrhea and vomiting in adults and infants.
Enterobacter, which is found in bacteria that live in the intestine, can cause illness in people who have been sick for more than a week, and those with weakened immune systems, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Water from the system tested at 4,500 times the EPA standard for chloramine, or chlorofluorocarbons, the disinfectant that should be used for tap water.
It’s not clear how much the tap had changed since it was tested in 2014.
A spokesman for the Harris County health department said that the county’s water has not been tested since the tap system began operation in 2004.
Dr. James McBride, who oversees the county health department, said the county tested water from several water systems and found that the system in question had exceeded the standard.
He said he has no plans to install a chlorine system in the county.
Smith said the company is trying to ensure that everyone who uses the tap in Harris County, which has a population of more than 100,000, has a good experience.
She said the tap is not being used for recreational purposes, and it’s not being tested for the presence of bacteria.
Even though the tap has been tested for chlorine, she said, there’s still a chance that it could get tested for other contaminants.
If you have a water issue, we encourage you to contact your water provider, which can also test your tap water for the other contaminants, she added.
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