TCEQ Turbidity Notice English

News Release & Public Notice – Required TCEQ Public Notice for exceeding Turbidity Limit


During November, our Water Treatment Plant suffered through a challenging water treatment period because of poor water quality – the tinted water event and of which we provided a local public notice. While the water was safe to consume, and was free of any bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc., it looked yellow. The yellow color came from a nearly impossible task of removing “dissolved” solids in the water (not loose or suspended solids). Removing dissolved solids is like trying to remove coffee or sugar from a cup of coffee, by just using chemical reaction and polymers. The main culprits were very high raw water flows from two low water quality sources (Little Cypress and Black Bayou) and low water flow from our highest quality water source (Lake O the Pines), and when combined with very low temperatures, it was nearly impossible to overcome the low raw water quality; it was close to treating cold mud.


With the combination of an increased water release from Lake O the Pines (as part of our annual reserve amount), a new polymer blend, and by adding the blend at an earlier stage, treatment staff were able to clear up the water.


The issue is that we suffered an acute violation of our turbidity limit three days in November, and according to TCEQ regulations, we are required to notify customers of this violation. What the notice states is that the excessive turbidity, which is a measure of water clarity or cloudiness, was above the 1.0 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit treatment guideline for three days. Excessive turbidity “may” result in inadequately treated water, but in our case, NOT ONE of our required daily water distribution system tests showed evidence of any poor water treatment or evidence of ANY contaminants, at anytime – in fact, over the event time frame, our water disinfection process provided even better protection than the minimum standards set by the TCEQ.


In addition to Notice being given to the news media, the City of Marshall will be mailing out a copy of the English and Spanish version of the Notice to all water utility customers early next week.


Regardless, we did exceed the turbidity limit due to the poor raw water quality and we are required to mail the following TCEQ Notice (in English and Spanish) to all water customers, publish the notice in the local newspaper, and provide an announcement on the radio.


Notice of Acute Surface Water Turbidity Violation

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) sets minimum water quality standards for public drinking water. One of these standards is a turbidity limit. Turbidity by itself has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may also indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. These symptoms can be particularly severe in people who are not as resistant to infections as most of the population. If you experience severe symptoms, please consult with your doctor to determine what actions you should take.


The City of Marshall, Texas Water Treatment Facility failed to meet the minimum treatment technique requirements on November 13th, 14th, and 15th. Specifically, the turbidity level of our treated water was above 1.0 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit.


If you want more information about the nature and significance of this violation, you may contact Nancy Pasel, Water Treatment Superintendent or J.C. Hughes, Water Utilities Director at the City of Marshall Texas, Water Treatment Plant at 903-935-4485.


*As stated by the TCEQ herein above, exceeding allowable Turbidity Levels could result in inadequately treated water, but at no time during this event, did the City of Marshall discover any evidence of inadequately treated water, nor bacteria, nor viruses, nor parasites as a result of our mandated daily water tests throughout our water distribution system. In addition, required testing also confirmed that we maintained a safe and acceptable disinfectant level throughout the water system and our water was safe for consumption.


The treatment issue was caused by poor water quality from Big Cypress because of lower water flow from Lake O the Pines, and higher water flows from Little Cypress and Black Bayou.


Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

Notice published by:

The City of Marshall

PO Box 698

Marshall, Texas

Nancy Pasel, Water Treatment Superintendent

J.C. Hughes, Water Utilities Director



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