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Brown drinking water causes concern for West Texans

Merkel residents want answers when it comes to discolored water from the city

ABILENE, Texas — Merkel City Manager, Steve Campbell:

  • As a water system with about 1375 connections, there are occasional complaints about the water. There were two complaints about discolored water last week, none today.
  • Many concerns about the discoloration of water can be resolved by the customer. Simply running water throughout the home for 3-5 minutes or until the discoloration clears up. If the situation persists customers should call the City’s water department.
  • Daily water sampling measuring disinfectant residual is performed by the City and provided to the TCEQ. Bacteriological sampling is conducted monthly. TCEQ contractors sample quarterly for nitrates and disinfectant by-products. Other sampling, lead, and copper, for example, are performed on a less frequent basis as required by TCEQ
  • The City’s course of action remains the same…address each concern received in an effort to reduce or eliminate the concern.
  • Minerals naturally occurring in water, including treated water, such as iron, manganese and others, may have an effect on taste, color and odor. In individual cases of concern, the appearance of the water may be related to flushing or higher volume usage in a particular area.

Flushing by the City moves much larger volumes of water. Ironically, moving larger volumes of water at a higher rate, whether from flushing or heavy usage (as may occur with road construction work) may actually increase discoloration due to disturbing sediment in older lines.

2018 Merkel Water Quality report