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Posts published in January 2005

Community meeting to discuss ground water contamination

State Representative Kevin Bailey invites area residents to a community meeting to discuss ground water contamination in the area of Eastex Freeway and Hartwick. The meeting will be at the Escamilla Intermediate School located at 5240 E. Mount Houston on Thursday, January 6 at 6:30 P.M.

Chlorinated Solvents have been discovered in a water well on the property of a former manufacturing company that had been located on Hartwick just east of the Eastex Freeway. Water wells located on properties immediately surrounding the area are in the process of being tested. Information on the results of the initial testing will be discussed at the meeting by a representative of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality(TCEQ).

The company Aspen Manufacturing has entered into a Voluntary Cleanup Program with the TCEQ to address environmental concerns associated with the ground water contamination. In order to determine whether or not water wells in the area have been impacted, the company is collecting water samples from area wells and having the samples tested by a laboratory. The water testing is being conducted at no cost to area residents.

“For years we have been very concerned about the quality of drinking water from shallow backyard water wells, now we have additional reason for concern,” said State Representative Kevin Bailey. “I urge all area residents, who do not receive water from a public water system, to attend the meeting.”

Bailey went on the say that representatives from the TCEQ, Harris County Engineering Office and the Aldine District will also attend the meeting.

Rep. Bailey has a long history of working on water quality issues. In 1991 and 1993 Rep. Bailey passed legislation forcing the city of Houston to provide water and sewer services to 119 neighborhoods annexed by the city that lacked safe water and public sewer. The city completed construction of water/sewer systems in those neighborhoods in 1998.

In 1999, he started the legislative session with a series of bills making it more affordable to provide water and sewer services to people living in unincorporated areas of Harris County that do not have adequate drinking water.

Also, he was successful in securing a Texas Water Development Board for a Planning Grant, for the Aldine Improvement District, to determine economically feasible alternatives to replace failing septic systems and provide a potable water supply to area residents and business.

Rep. Bailey said he was alarmed to learn of the ground water contamination in his district. “We have worked for many years to deal with problems created by homes built on small lots with shallow water wells that may be contaminated from surface runoff from an on-site septic system.

“As a result, health hazards and environmental degradation problems have been major concerns. I have worked diligently with Harris County to address those issues and now we are all faced with an even greater challenge.”

Area residents having any questions regarding the upcoming meeting may call Rep. Kevin Bailey’s district office at 281-847-9000.