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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2019
THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019
FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2019
SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2019
SUNDAY, MARCH 24, 2019
THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019
FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2019
SATURDAY, MARCH 30, 2019
SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 2019
MONDAY, APRIL 1, 2019
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2019 - Final
FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2019 - Final
MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019
FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2019
Following the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) fire event on March 17, the City of Deer Park began conducting voluntary sampling of the drinking water supply to ensure public safety during and following the incident.
To meet this goal, the City began working with Envirodyne Laboratories, Inc. on March 20 and continued a daily sampling process through April 1. This sampling assessed the City’s drinking water supply for the presence of volatile organic carbons (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic carbons (SVOCs). The VOC and SVOC tests check for the presence of particulates including benzene, toluene and xylene, products released during the ITC fire and response.
To date, no readings have reached or surpassed drinking water standards, which are established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). In other words, the City received favorable drinking water quality results throughout the response period.
However, according to Surface Water Plant Supervisor Nicholas Cook, the City received notification from Envirodyne on Tuesday that one sample collected on March 31 reflected a trace amount of benzene, which is approximately five times lower than the drinking water standard. These results were provided to the City at the conclusion of the 10-day testing cycle for SVOCs.
“Throughout the response period, we have been in consistent communication with Envirodyne Laboratories, and we were notified Tuesday that one sample tested positive for benzene at a level approximately five times lower than the drinking water standard,” Cook said. “Sampling conducted before and after that result had no detections of benzene. Although we received reporting of the low-level presence for one day, all of the results we have received show that our water is - and has been - safe for citizen consumption.”
In subsequent communication with TCEQ, Cook confirmed that the trace amount of benzene detected in the single sample would not cause short-term or long-term health effects to residents.
“In addition to completing voluntary testing through Envirodyne, the City’s Water Treatment Plant staff has been diligent in conducting regular sampling of the water coming in and leaving the plant throughout and following the ITC event,” Cook said. “We understand the community’s concerns following this major incident, but have taken every possible precaution to continually ensure the safety of our drinking water supply.”
Since April 1, VOC tests have continued three times per week. As the City has received each set of water quality results, they were shared with the community through the City’s website on both an ITC Fire page and on a “Water Quality” news item on the City’s homepage. The City will continue to share water testing results as they are provided.
The City of Deer Park received additional data Wednesday from Envirodyne Laboratories, Inc. following voluntary testing on the city's drinking water supply following the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park fire and response.
According to Nicholas Cook, Surface Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, the additional content includes semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC) data. The volatile organic compounds (VOC) data from the original report is unchanged and provided as part of the final report. All the data indicates there are no health concerns related to the city’s drinking water.
Cook said additional results will be provided to the City regularly, and the information will be posted to the City's website when it is received.
View the updated report here: City drinking water - Voluntary testing results
The City of Deer Park Surface Water Treatment Plant has received preliminary testing results from Envirodyne Laboratories, Incorporated based on drinking water supply sampling conducted on a daily basis from March 20-25.
As indicated by Nicholas Cook, Plant Supervisor, the results reflected positively on the City’s water, and none of the data received showed evidence of benzene in the samples.
The testing was completed on a voluntary basis following the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park fire and response, which resulted in run-off of foam and chemicals into Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel, which is NOT a source of drinking water for the City of Deer Park.
While the sampling was voluntary on the City’s part, we have communicated with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) since the supplemental sampling for benzene and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). The City has received multiple sets of results regarding benzene and VOCs indicating there are no health concerns associated with the City’s drinking water. SVOC results are anticipated to arrive on or around April 2.
Cook said daily sampling of the water coming into the Surface Water Treatment Plant, raw water and the outgoing, finished water will continue until further notice.
“We have conducted daily sampling of the City’s drinking water supply since Wednesday, March 20 and completed additional voluntary testing in the days following the ITC response,” Cook said. “As expected, the results of the testing have been favorable and have only returned readings that indicate our water is successfully meeting standards established by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).”
Specifically, Cook verified that no benzene has been found in the municipal water supply. With respect to trihalomethanes (THM), he said the average level for this time period was 21.7 micrograms per Liter, which is far below the legally allowed 80 micrograms per Liter. Trihalomethanes are a by-product of chlorine, a disinfectant. Cook said the THM level has fluctuated throughout the reporting period and that is typical.
Residents are advised that a third-party company has distributed water sampling packets throughout Deer Park over the last several days. These packets are in no way affiliated with the City of Deer Park, and the City does not endorse the services being advertised.
Multi-jurisdictional air and water quality monitoring continues following the Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park fire and response this week. Clean-up efforts at the ITC site are ongoing, and further information will be provided following an ITC press conference later this morning.
With respect to both air quality and drinking water, the City of Deer Park has not received any readings which represent a health concern to our citizens. We will continue to provide updates and make them available on our dedicated webpage to the ITC fire and response, www.deerparktx.gov/itcfire.
Yesterday evening the second round of sampling from the Deer Park Water Treatment Plant was received from Envirodyne Laboratory Incorporated. The report was similar to the report provided on Thursday.Samples were taken from the raw, untreated water as it enters the plant and from the finished water leaving the plant. Neither sample contained benzene. The raw water had a total of 21 micrograms per liter of trihalomethanes (THMs) while the finished water had 23 micrograms per liter. The maximum level of THMs for drinking water is 80 micrograms per liter, so the Deer Park water is still well below the maximum level allowable.Staff is collecting additional samples today and tomorrow for analysis on Monday.
The City of Deer Park has received documentation Thursday confirming the results of testing of the City of Deer Park’s drinking water supply. The testing was completed on a voluntary basis following the response to the fire incident at Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) Deer Park.
Envirodyne Laboratories, Incorporated completed the testing on Wednesday, March 20 and provided the physical report on Thursday, March 21.
According to Nicholas Cook, Surface Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, the results were very positive and represented the expected outcome.
“The tests revealed no evidence of benzene in the water,” Cook said. “The only volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detected were the total trihalomethanes at 14 ug (micrograms) per Liter, which is well below the maximum allowed 80 ug/Liter. Trihalomethanes are normally present in drinking water samples.
“The tests also looked for tentatively identified compounds and none were detected.”
In a joint press release with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Coast Guard and Harris County, the City provided information about ongoing efforts to assess water quality following the ITC incident.
The full text of the release is provided below.
Unified command working to assess water quality near ITC site
Teams and contractors from the city of Deer Park, Harris County, TCEQ, EPA, and the U.S. Coast Guard are working together to evaluate impacts to Tucker Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel surrounding Intercontinental Terminals Co. in Deer Park, which recently dealt with several large fires in its chemical storage tanks.
The city of Deer Park reports that run-off of foam and chemicals resulting from the fire response do not pose a threat to the quality of the city’s drinking water. Drinking water is provided to the city by the Coastal Water Authority which draws from the Trinity River. Water is stored in a reservoir located northeast of the Lynchburg Ferry. From there, it travels through a closed pipe system to Deer Park customers. Water in the municipal water system does not come into contact with the water impacted by the fire response. Furthermore, the public water system is designed to treat debris that has fallen, such as ash, that may have encountered untreated water stored at the drinking water plant. Treated water is contained within a pressurized distribution system. Laboratory testing of the city of Deer Park’s water revealed no evidence of benzene. The only volatile organic compounds detected were the total trihalomethanes at 14 micrograms per liter, which is well below the maximum allowed 80 micrograms per liter which is a disinfectant byproduct.
The area north of Texas 225 drains toward the Houston Ship Channel, which is not used by any public water system in the Houston area as a source for drinking water. Deer Park residents who use wells north of Texas 225 should have their water tested before using.
Teams are looking out for and working to contain any chemicals that may be coming from the site, which include the industrial chemicals stored there and firefighting foam used to fight the fire and suppress vapors.
The Coast Guard directed the placement of close to 3,000 feet of containment and sorbent boom at strategic locations along the facility’s drainage outfall—including Tucker and Buffalo bayous, and the Houston Ship Channel—to contain discharge caused by the overflow of firefighting water and foam from the facility’s containment area and an exclusionary boom has been placed around the Battleship Texas and the entrance to Santa Ana Bayou as a precautionary measure to prevent impact to these sensitive areas. If at any time, air or water sampling indicates a safety risk to operations on the Houston Ship Channel, the Captain of the Port will take immediate action to cease operations in the impacted area. Employees working at facilities along the Houston Ship Channel should follow safety instructions issued by their local and county officials.
TCEQ began sampling water on Tuesday from Tucker Bayou to the Houston Ship Channel and at drainage outfalls adjacent to the facility. Collected samples were first submitted by TCEQ’s contractor to a certified water laboratory early Wednesday; however, results for certain compounds can take 24 hours while others can take as long as 72 hours, to be processed and finalized. EPA began collecting water samples in Tucker Bayou on March 20, and in Buffalo Bayou on March 21.
See City of Deer Park, Harris County, TCEQ’s ITC Fire Incident webpage, and EPA for updates concerning this response.