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WATER WOES: Craft-Turney, state officials to hold public information meeting

JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK) - The Craft-Turney Water Supply Corporation and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold a public information meeting Monday to discuss the status of the water supply.

Craft-Turney  issued a do not use order to water customers October 3 due to contamination of a portion of the system from a fungicide that entered the system through a backflow.

Representatives from TCEQ and Craft-Turney Water Supply Corporation Board of Directors will be present at the meeting to answer questions.

On October 8, the TCEQ issued a press release that said samples it had collected from the water supply indicated a low-level presence of a chemical found in a fungicide that was suspected of having entered the water.

Since notifying the state of the suspected contamination, Craft-Turney has been flushing the water system and TCEQ has continued collecting samples.

"These activities will continue, and the do not use order will remain in place, until all samples of the water are free from presence of the chemicals (chlorothalonil and methylene bis-thiocyante) that are found in the fungicide," according to the TCEQ pres release.  "Preliminary results for the samples collected on Oct. 7, 2018, indicated that the chlorothalonil is still present in a limited area of the system."

The do not use order issued October 3 advised Craft-Turney water customers that they could use water to flush their toilets but not for "any other purposes, such as bathing, washing clothes, preparing food, drinking, gardening or for pets."

The TCEQ and Craft-Turney have advised customers in the expanded area to flush their homes. Instructions are available at the Craft-Turney website.

Since the notice was issued, the TCEQ has delivered 48 pallets of bottled water to the utility for use by customers affected by the order. The water is available at the Craft-Turney office, 505 Loop 456 in Jacksonville.

A contractor hired by the TCEQ has set up a trailer with 16 shower stalls at Central Baptist Church, 1909 E. Rusk St., Jacksonville. The shower trailer is now open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight. Also, the First United Methodist Church-Jacksonville at 1031 TX-456 Loop has made its facilities available for bathing and washing dishes between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

For residents’ health-related questions:

The TCEQ has also coordinated with the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is available to take calls regarding health concerns. Impacted residents can call DSHS, Dr. Heidi Bojes, Phd., at 512-776-6351, during regular business hours Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., local Cherokee County Health Department, Grace Mikhail, at 903-721-4402 or they can reach the Texas Poison Center Network 24 hours per day at 1-800-222-1222.

Residents may also contact TCEQ’s Tyler office at 903-535-5100 if they have any questions related to this incident.

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