Contaminated Water in West Texas Towns - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/11/02

Contaminated Water in West Texas Towns

It's not a question of what's in the water, but rather how did it get there? Friday night, the Texas Commission on Environmental quality is notifying several West Texas towns about a contaminant in their water. The TCEQ says the water in nine West Texas Counties has tested positive for unusually high amounts of Perchlorate. Perchlorate is a chemical commonly used in rocket fuel, firecrackers and matches.

The commission says Perchlorate levels are highest in the communities of Welch, Seagraves and Seminole. The chemical is a potential health risk because it can slow down thyroid development in fetuses and children under three-years-old. "People may want to consider bottled water for cooking and drinking just as a precaution," said Michael Honeycutt with the TCEQ.

The TCEQ is working with Texas Tech researchers to determine where the Perchlorate is coming from West Texas. They say it could be attributed to a number of sources including the military, agriculture or the oil and gas industries.

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