Meetings were held Wednesday to discuss the ongoing water issue at Rio Bravo and El Cenizo where they continue to be on a water boiling alert. Valerie Gonzalez brings us the latest.
At the water distribution center in Rio Bravo, over 200 people have come by, signed up, asking for water, and also asking for a resolution to this water issue. We caught up with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as they met with Webb County Engineer Luis Perez Garcia to discuss a solution to this ongoing problem. Although TCEQ employees were unable to give details, Webb County Engineer Perez says he feels there is good news on the way. "We feel confident that we're going to have a positive outcome. We're taking samples, we have turned in our samples today. The samples preliminarily said everything was good, and we hope to get tomorrow, by noontime, the release on the boil water notice."
Over in Rio Bravo, residents continue depending on donations, but say it affects their budgets too. Rio Bravo resident Lucia Pecina says "Si es un gasto extra que no lo tienes contemplado." [It's an extra cost that you hadn't budgeted for.] Pecina says it has taken a toll on her financially, and even on her family.
On the other side of the sign-up table, Volunteer Rosa Gutierrez cheerfully helps others, despite facing the same problems at home. Rosa tells us how her mother and brother took ill and were taken to the hospital on Monday. Her brother was told he had contracted a bacteria.
Hardships like these could soon be over. A meeting between Rio Bravo and El Cenizo leaders and the Webb County Engineer has made room for optimism. Rosa Puguero, the Rio Bravo City Secretary, says of the meeting that included an update on the water plant: “Basically, everything has been changed and everything looks awesome. It looks new and clean." Rio Bravo Mayor, Manuel Vela, also feels optimistic about their future: "We are expecting a lot from the county, we expect everything is going to be there from now on. I don't expect this is going to happen again."
According to the engineer, safeguards will be put in place to prevent this problem from reoccurring. "We are training our personnel. We are bringing in new management, and we have brought in over $650 thousand worth of modifications and improvements to the pant in the last 2 months. We hope that those measures will be sufficient to give us the confidence that this will never happen again."
That would be good news, for a town who has faced bad news for nearly two weeks.