Granite Shoals hit with lead testing violation

Tap water

GRANITE SHOALS, Texas (KXAN) The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has proposed enforcement and fines against the City of Granite Shoals for violating lead and copper testing rules, according to agency records.

Granite Shoals failed to test all of its lead and copper sample locations and provide proper public notice, according to TCEQ records. The city had a lead level violation in September of 2014. A Granite Shoals official told KXAN the violations were minor, the problem has been fixed and the string of violations appears far worse than it really is.

Coming into compliance with TCEQ has been difficult, and the agency’s guidelines for testing can be tough to follow, said Peggy Smith, the Granite Shoals water utility director. Smith said the high lead levels were found in two weekend homes, and the lead leached from pipe solder inside the home, not city pipes.

Since the “lead action level exceedence,” Granite Shoals has been on a more demanding water testing schedule, she said.

“It’s a very, very complicated situation, when you get into lead and copper sampling,” Smith said. “It is very frustrating to a small system.”

You can view the TCEQ order here

Granite Shoals straddles an eastern portion of Lake LBJ and has fewer than 350 water connections.

Smith said the issue stems from two high lead tests, which were not conducted properly.

“The water had been sitting in the lines for like two months, rather than normal usage, so of course it tested high,” Smith said.

A TCEQ spokesperson said the agency would not comment because the matter is pending public comment and commissioner approval.

TCEQ fined Granite Shoals more than $1,100 but reduced that amount to $936, contingent on the city’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement, according to an agreed order.

TCEQ lists six separate sets of violations spanning back more than four years. The violations include failing to properly collect lead and copper samples, failure to deliver public education materials following a failed lead test and failure to recommend optimal corrosion control treatment after the lead exceedence, among others, according to the TCEQ.

Smith said Granite Shoals did test for lead and copper at its sample sites, and it did alert Granite Shoals residents to the violations. However, the city didn’t take those actions in the exact manner TCEQ prescribed, Smith added, which caused the violations.

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