TCEQ, CTWS continue working together to resolve water emergency

by Cristin Parker

Craft-Turney Water Supply Corporation’s contaminant has been identified, but the do not use water warning still stands.

Monday, the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) received results from various water samples taken Oct. 4. According to reported results, five samples tested positive for low levels of a chemical found in a fungicide initially suspected of entering the water system.

CTWS continues to flush the system and are working with customers to flush their homes’ water systems. The corporation issued a do not use notice on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to customers in the affected areas, warning them not to use the water for any reason. The service area affected includes the south side of Jacksonville’s Loop 456 on the north boundary, county roads 1615 and 1616 (including U.S. Highway 69 S) on the west boundary, State Highway 204 on the east boundary, and FM 768 on the south boundary.

“The do not use order will remain in place until the water system has been adequately flushed and samples indicate that the water is safe to use,” a statement released Tuesday from TCEQ said. “It is not known at this time how long this may take, but the health and safety of the water supply corporation’s customers is TCEQ’s priority. Customers can now use water to flush their toilets but cannot use the water for any other purposes, such as bathing, washing clothes, preparing food, drinking, gardening, or for pets.”

Wednesday, Oct. 3, Craft-Turney officials notified the TCEQ of a backflow incident impacting an estimated 11 connections. The water utility is working with those 11 customers to flush their homes’ water systems. CTWS officials have also indicated that the contaminated portion of the system has been isolated from the distribution system.

Since issuing the order, TCEQ officials have been in continuous contact with CTWS representatives.

The water utility has been continuously flushing the system to remove any potential contaminants. TCEQ investigators and engineers are on the ground and working with the water supply corporation to address this issue.

Several entities have stepped up to help those customers affected by the do not use order.

TCEQ continues to provide pallets of bottled water to affected customers. The water is available at the Craft-Turney office, 505 Loop 456, Jacksonville.

TCEQ has also arranged for 16 shower stalls, open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight, at Central Baptist Church, 1901 E. Rusk, St., Jacksonville. First United Methodist Church-Jacksonville has opened its facilities to those affected by the do not use water notice for bathing and washing dishes between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., at the church, 1031 Loop 456.

“The city of Jacksonville has generously furnished Craft-Turney CTWS the ability to fill bulk water containers for our customers that need to water livestock or other needs,” Craft Turney WSC President John Hawkins posted on his Facebook page. “If you are in the affected do not use area of CTWS, you are welcome to bring your containers to our offices at 505 Loop 456.”

The Department of State Health Services is available to take calls regarding health concerns. Dr. Sharon Huff in DSHS’s Tyler office can be reached at (903) 595-3589. Impacted residents may also contact the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-222-1222. Residents may also contact TCEQ’s Tyler office at (903) 535-5100 if they have any questions related to this incident.

Customers are urged to visit CTWS’s website,, for instructions on how to flush their homes.