Drinking water gets good grade

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014
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Perhaps the most routine item on a routine agenda drew the most discussion at Monday’s meeting of the Decatur City Council.

No one from the public showed up for the required annual public hearing on the city’s annual drinking water quality report – but council members had a few things to say about water.

Public Works Director Earl Smith hit the highlights, noting one administrative issue, but no water quality problems.

“When we take lead and copper samples, we have to take them at people’s house, at the faucet,” he said. “We are required to report those results to that customer within 30 days, and we failed to do that. That’s the only excursion we had.”

But he said the report still looked good.

“I expect, I hope, we still get to be rated a superior water system,” he said. “It’s an excellent report.”

Council member Cary Bohn said he’d read that the city of Wichita Falls is now using their treated effluent to replace part of their water supply.

“It’ll be interesting to watch and see,” he said.

Smith said the city is “piping it pretty much straight back to the water treatment plant.”

He noted that every city’s effluent makes its way into someone’s drinking water supply – including Decatur’s.

“We may not want to admit it, but our effluent from our wastewater plant goes down the river and goes to Eagle Mountain,” he said. “Water is getting reused all the time like that.”

Wichita Falls is blazing a trail that other cities may follow if drought continues, he noted.

“If we don’t start seeing some water filling up these lakes, you might see more and more projects like that,” Smith said. “They’re rare, but they’re viable. It’s a water source.”

City Manager Brett Shannon said Decatur’s water supply is not nearly as low as Wichita Falls’ – but if they did decide to run effluent back into the water plant, the city would have to get some permits and come to an agreement with Tarrant Regional Water District.

“Technically, when we release our wastewater into Martin Branch, it belongs to them again,” he said. “If we turned off our effluent, 600,000 to 700,000 gallons a day right now, I’m sure Tarrant Regional would notice that water not showing up.”

As of today, Lake Bridgeport has a little more water than it did a month ago. The lake is 41.4 percent full.


The council gave quick approval to both a preliminary and final platting request for eight lots off Farm Road 730 north of Decatur, in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

The request was by Andrew Sandford, on behalf of WC Trails LLC.

The lots range from 2 to 7-plus acres. Four 2-acre lots front Cemetery Road while the other, larger lots will have access from Farm Road 730.

Council also appointed Eileen Standridge and Curtis Creswell to the Planning and Zoning Commission, filling vacant seats. Creswell’s term expires this October, while Standridge’s runs until next October.

They also named Will Klose to the city’s Board of Adjustment, to a term that expires in October of 2015.

The council also took final action to close Pecan Street between Church and Miller, since the First United Methodist Church owns the entire blocks on both sides of the street.


Finally, they extended the interlocal agreement with the city of Fort Worth for participation in the Household Hazardous Waste Program. The pact allows Decatur residents to pay a permit fee at City Hall, get a voucher and take household hazardous waste to Fort Worth’s facility.

“The only change is the dates,” Shannon said. “I’m not sure if we’ve had anybody actually purchase the permit and go over there and unload stuff, but as long as the city of Fort Worth is willing to do it, I think it’s worthwhile to at least have the service. It’s not costing the city of Decatur anything.”

He also noted the city may apply for a grant for next year to have Fort Worth’s “Crud Cruiser” come to Decatur and collect waste.

Otherwise, residents have to deliver the waste to 6400 Bridge St., just east of downtown Fort Worth off Interstate 30 and Loop 820, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thurday and Friday, or 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The center accepts automotive fluids; batteries; cleaners and chemicals; cooking oil; lawn, garden and pool chemicals; light bulbs; medicines; and paint and painting supplies.

It will not accept ammunition and explosives; appliances and electronics; building materials; bulk trash and yard waste; butane or propane cylinders; medical waste; tires; asbestos; PCBs or radioactive items.

Business, commercial and industrial waste also cannot be accepted under Texas regulations.

For information, visit

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