Safer Water North TexasIs our water safe? That’s the question concerned residents are still asking three weeks after activist Erin Brockovich called B.S. (literally using the hashtag #StopTheBullshit) on Plano and the regional water district’s claims that the water was fine, despite its pungent chlorine smell. Now those residents are especially fired up after Brockovich revealed Thursday night at a citizen town hall that the North Texas Municipal Water District was issued a violation by the state of Texas for failing to perform some tests for volatile organic compounds last year. [UPDATE 10:35 p.m. Friday] Though it initially released a statement acknowledging the violation, the water district rescinded its update on late Friday night, explaining the violation was a miscommunication because the plant in question was closed. 

A sold-out crowd of nearly 600 Collin County residents — just a fraction of the nearly 13,000 who’ve joined a Facebook group called Safer Water North Texas— packed into the Frisco Celebration Hall to hear Brockovich and water quality expert Bob Bowcock speak. Safer Water North Texas organized this event in a matter of days, after assembling themselves to speak up about water quality at local city council meetings and demand answers why their water doesn’t seem right. Brockovich and Bowcock flew to North Texas on their own dime after thousands of residents contacted the famed water safety advocate for help guiding their own activist efforts, much like the famed water quality advocate did in the eponymous 2000 movie by Steven Soderbergh.

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Customers of the North Texas Municipal Water District say they have their doubts about the safety of their drinking water (Photo courtesy Pixabay).

The North Texas Municipal Water District insists its water is safe. So do several of the cities it services. But a growing number of customers are saying they are not so sure now.

Emily Franklin is one of those customers. Her family has lived in Anna for almost four years, and she said their water was fine in the beginning.

“Initially we had no problems with our water, in fact, I actually liked it,” she said Friday. “The past two years have been very different though. Our water has smelled and tasted more and more of chlorine.” (more…)