Not wanting Flint, Michigan, to hog all the toxic-drinking-water glory, three Texas facilities that care for the disabled have reported levels of lead that contain "18 times the amount of the lead that triggers" federal action, The Dallas Morning News cheerfully reports.
Two state agencies overseeing the hundreds of residents in the centers, located in Brenham, El Paso and San Angelo, are now considering whether staff and residents should be screened.
From the story:
Siddhartha Roy, one of the Virginia Tech researchers who studied the water in Flint, called some of the samples from the three Texas facilities “very worrying.”
“The water is not safe to drink,” Roy said. “These numbers clearly indicate a lead in water problem at least in some of the faucets where the samples were taken. … More testing at the other faucets is needed.”
When a researcher who examined Flint's water calls your lead levels "very worrying," that's kind of a troubling sign. Fortunately, steps are already being taken to address this — the Brenham facility began distributing bottled water to staff and residents earlier this month.
Dennis Borel, who heads the Coalition of Texans With Disabilities, is calling for state lawmakers to take action.
“We’re pouring tons of money into these things, and now we’re finding out that the infrastructure needs are also massive,” Borel told the DMN. “We need to really examine whether institutionalizing our citizens with disabilities at our current level of 13 institutions makes any sense for the health of the residents and for responsible management of public resources.”
We'd already reported on a study showing elevated arsenic levels in 65 water systems throughout the state; these new findings just freak us out even more.
We hope state officials will take a close look at the lead findings, and at least keep the bottled water (Perrier, perhaps?) flowing until things are under control.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.