Is water in Deer Park making people sick?

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The city of Deer Park says a container there which stored a certain chemical they used to help clean the water broke in late September and though they repaired it that day, the water quality did not meet standards set by the state.

Some say this explains why they recently have been sick.

As Aimee Carroll pours a glass of water at her home in Deer Park, she cringes at the thought of drinking it. She says the nine people living there, including her four children, have all been sick the past few weeks.

"Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting," she said. "My fourth grader had headaches."

She was confused by a letter which the city sent out with water bills, saying the water had excessive levels of turbidity, that it that alone has no health effects, but that that the water could contain bacteria, viruses, and even parasites, and that those could cause all the symptoms seen at her house.

What's more, she questions its timing.

"If they knew of this in September and they knew of this in October, why are they telling usn in November?" she asked.

City Manager Ron Crabtree says turbidity is a cloudiness of the water which he blames in part on Hurricane Ike runoff from the Trinity River that arrived in Deer Park In late September. He also says a container broke which had a chemical in it that they use to treat for turbidity.

For seven days from September 28 through October 4, it exceeding the state's maximum .3 parts per million mandate. At its highest, it was measured at .74. Still, Crabtree says that's nowhere near the mandated 5.0 parts per million "boil water" notice required by the state.

"It's my opinion that there's not a health risks associated with the marginally higher level of turbidity that we experienced during that 7 day period," he said

In fact, the city has done bacteria testing of the water 4 times per week since this happened and each test has come back negative. Still Crabtree admits they city should have done a better job notifying residents of this issue sooner.

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