The Commerce Journal

December 18, 2012

Commerce water safe to drink again

High nitrite advisory lifted after city, state testing

By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Following subsequent testing by the state of Texas and internal testing by the city of Commerce, the precautionary advisory for high nitrite levels has been lifted for all of Commerce and the North Hunt SUD.

“Our internal testing and subsequent testing by the state did not show high nitrite levels,” Commerce Utilities Director Bryan Creed said. “To be honest, we don’t know what happened. I don’t really have an answer as to why we had that detection.”

The city relied on data from the state’s retesting to lift the advisory, meaning the water is safe to drink again. The pump station that had been shut down and drained for testing is back online.

The original advisory was released on Dec. 3 after the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality sent out a warning that the nitrite levels in the Commerce water supply exceeded state maximum levels.

Despite the new testing results, the city still has to send out notices by mail regarding the initial advisory, Creed said, although a note to disregard the advisory is included in the notices.

While Creed is sure that the state had an accurate reading, but the reading could not be replicated by the city or the state.

“According to the original testing, there was too much nitrogen in the water,” he said. “How it got there is a mystery.”