Fort Worth water department notifies customers of monitoring violation

The City of Fort Worth water department sent out an email to customers Monday morning notifying them of a monitoring violation July 2.

The city found two samples for coliform bacteria in the outgoing water supply.

“Each month the City of Fort Worth is required to submit water samples for bacteriological testing,” the email said. “The samples we submitted during July 2014 contained coliform bacteria. The presence of coliform bacteria indicates a potential problem with our water treatment system or pipes that distribute the treated water."

On July 3, repeat samples were taken from three sampling sites but one of those sites was only tested once. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires two samples to be taken.

The City of Fort Worth water department conducts about 300 tests each month in the distribution system that delivers clean water to the city.

Maria Gugliuzza, media relations and communications coordinator for the water department, said that “samples must contain more than five percent mercury to not be positive” with coliform bacteria. She also said the bacteria is something that is prevalent in the environment and not generally harmful, but its presence is a sign there could be a problem.

"We are allowed up to 5 percent coliform bacteria present and still be acceptable," she said. "Occasionally we will get a positive reading, but we want to stress that water quality was not compromised.”

The email notification is a specific message for water department customers who have opted out of postal service communication. The digital message was sent Monday morning and the remaining customers will receive their notification by mail in their next monthly statements.

“We’ve put some rules in place to ensure that adequate samples are taken in the future,” Gugliuzza said.

Anyone with questions can contact Gugliuzza at 817-392-8253.