City of Hereford issues notification after water tests exceed contamination level

by Mary Coleman, originally posted on February 08, 2017



A letter sent to Hereford residents about the city’s water contamination levels has caused some alarm.

Water is a precious resource all around the world. So you can bet when Hereford residents read theirs was in even the slightest bit of danger, they panicked.

But officials want to take this time to ease any worry.

“It’s…it’s scary,” says Hereford resident Joshua Coronado.

This was the same reaction from many Hereford residents when they saw this letter. It came in the mail with monthly water bills. It’s from the city claiming the TCEQ found Hereford’s water exceeded the limit for gross alpha emitters, a measurement of radiation. The limit is a 15, and the city’s water scored a 16.

“We’re required to send out the notice, use their language for the most part of it..all the you know here’s what can happen talking about possibly cause cancer if dranken for many many years,” says Assistant City Manager Steve Bartels.

Hearing the word “cancer” seems to be where the majority of fear came from.

“I don’t think it’s anything to take lightly,” says Coronado. “My concern is…we don’t drink any of the tap water at home, but I know the kids do at school, so that’s my main concern.”

But the TCEQ says you have to be exposed to the high level over many years for increased risk of cancer. And the city says this is not an emergency, and it is safe to drink their water. They have sent tests to various labs, to see if there was a sampling error, or there is a real issue with the city’s water.

“The most important thing to remember is that the water is safe to drink,” says Bartels. “And it says that in the notice that this is not an emergency even though some of the language that’s included may scare some people. That they don’t have to find another source of water, drinking water and otherwise.”

Test results are expected to come in sometime this or next week, to allow the city to decide where to go from here.

Newschannel 10 will continue to follow this story and we will bring you an update as soon as those test results come in

Learn More