WYLIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Just weeks after raising concerns about the chemicals being used to treat water in Plano, famed environmentalist Erin Brockovich is visiting North Texas. She was supposed to start Thursday in Wylie, meeting with a panel of water quality experts, various city leaders and community members who were seeking answers.
Brockovich was not at Thursday’s meeting as planned, but her own water quality expert, Bob Bowcock, spoke on her behalf. “I don’t think that this is a question of right or wrong. I think it’s a question of a huge communication breakdown,” Bowcock said Thursday. “I think that there are some major issues between a large regional wholesaler and their 50-80 plus consumers with distribution systems independently licensed from the wholesale water agency.”
Brockovich is still expected to tour the North Texas Municipal Water District’s headquarters in Wylie before traveling over to Frisco for a town hall meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday night at Frisco Celebration Hall. A citizen group has arranged for Brockovich’s visit.
Brockovich sounded the alarm on Facebook last month about chemical concerns in Plano, after multiple community members complained that their drinking water smelled and tasted like chlorine. Residents in Frisco had similar complaints. Both of the cities receive water from the North Texas Municipal Water District.
A recent, independent test of 12 sites found that five locations in Plano contained higher levels of disinfectant byproduct than the Environmental Protection Agency allows. However, safety measurements are based on yearly averages. Those levels show that the water is safe, Plano officials said.
Frisco conducts 60 to 100 chlorine residual tests each week to ensure that disinfectant levels meet the state requirements. The water in Frisco has never exceeded the maximum contaminate level, or the potentially dangerous level, as set by the EPA, city officials said.
“I know that chemicals is good to protect,” said Frisco resident Walter Wanderley, “but doesn’t taste good.”