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New well to monitor for possible toxins

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

The Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District (BCRAGD) has completed the drilling of a monitor well near a privately owned well in Lakehills that had tested positive for toxic substances in November of 2011.

"We did preliminary tests (on the monitor well) and no VOCs were detected," reported BCRAGD General Manager Dave Mauk.

Mauk said the BCRAGD would continue to check the water quality in wells in the locality. The well that tested positive for toxins also had an abnormally high pH value. "The pH in that well is down," said Mauk, "but the numbers have not stabilized."

The well is being used for construction purposes and Mauk theorizes that usage may be clearing out the dangerous materials.

Mauk also reported that a TCEQ staff member toured the Lakehills area last week to look at a number of illegal dumping sites in the area.

It is possible that the private Lakehills well may have been contaminated from a nearby dumping site that contains a variety of construction and other materials.

The BCRAGD took a water sample from the well on Nov. 21, 2011, and sent it to the Lower Colorado River Authority's Environmental Laboratory Services in Austin where it was tested for volatile compounds.

The analysis showed the presence of toluene, acetone, trichlorethene, carbon disulfide, MEK, and tetrahydrofuran. Two other samples were taken subsequently and the levels had dropped, but the volatile organic compounds were still detected.

The well is located at 111 32nd Street in Lakehills.

BCRAGD maintains 40 monitor wells throughout the county, which it tests regularly for water levels and quality.