Well water restrictions put in place

LA FERIA — City leaders have banned the use of water beneath the ground in one area of the city and have agreed to allow for more environmental testing.

Commissioners unanimously decided recently to restrict the water usage and to continue testing after finding out certain leads and arsenic were underneath the ground near the CVS store.

However, the concern does not appear to be far- reaching.

“It would never get into any of La Feria’s water stream,” said Victor Gonzalez, former La Feria mayor.

He said the city draws its water from the river south of town.

On Friday, city leaders were not available to comment further as City Hall was closed for the holiday.

A land surveyor who tested the soil and water near the CVS property said the water flow from the east to west below ground is not contaminated.

He said the groundwater was safe for drinking and has been approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

He said a drinking water impact survey found no threat to the public and no one was accessing the drinking water from under ground near the CVS store.

The investigator recommended putting an ordinance together against accessing the water and restricting the public usage of the ground water.

But, residents and area business owners are concerned about the revelation of arsenic found in the ground and water wells near the CVS store located on Main and Business 83.

The issue was reported to the commission in March.

A CVS store representative reported the finding of arsenic to the city last month.

At the time commissioners did not have a full report nor, was the CVS representative able to say how extreme the situation was.

The soil and six shallow ground water wells were tested.

About 120 cubic yards of ground soil was excavated at the CVS location and it was determined by examiners arsenic is no longer there.

The investigator added the soil had been cleaned up and there is no concern about any vapors of arsenic in the area.

The problem seems to be an isolated situation only affecting the CVS property.

The CVS store property is approximately 1.73 acres.

The investigator said he had identified several metals in the soil, particularly the arsenic and several pesticides.

But it was determined the arsenic and metals were a result of grain silos and cotton gin that were once there.