Residents who live in Dayton Lake Estates are being urged by county officials to boil their water at this time. Earlier today, county officials and representatives with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) visited the community so TCEQ could inspect the water system. Investigators reportedly found that the water was not fit for human consumption.
In order to ensure that the water is safe to drink, cook or make ice, and that all harmful bacteria and other microbes have been destroyed, residents should boil and cool the water prior to using. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil for two minutes, then boiled for another two minutes. Residents who cannot boil their water are encouraged to purchase bottled water.
According to Pct. 2 Commissioner Greg Arthur, who has been working with TCEQ and Elections Administrator Klint Bush on a host of problems reportedly occurring in the community of 50 residents, said that the problem was first brought to his attention by a resident who complained of medical maladies that she believed were linked to the water. An investigation was started and a visit with TCEQ was arranged.
“The water system was decertified by TCEQ a few years ago. If there are only a handful of customers on a water system, it generally falls outside of TCEQ regulations,” Arthur said.
The problem with the water has raised questions about who is supposed to be maintaining the water system, why it continued to operate even after it was decertified and who is accepting payments for the water service, he added.
“We are trying to figure out where the property taxes are going for this community. The residents are complaining that they don’t have a legally elected mayor or city council. There is no accountability from anyone,” Arthur said. “Right now there are a lot of things taking place that are questionable.”
The issue of who is in charge of the city was raised to the County by a petition signed by 21 of the 37 registered voters in the Day Lake Estates community, according to Bush.
“The citizens of the city presented a petition to my office to dissolve the city. The problem is that this petition would have to be presented to a city secretary, and there is no city secretary on record,” Bush said.
Bush alleges that it has been several years since the City of Dayton Lake Estates has held a lawful election.
“I’ve been doing elections in Liberty County for 15 years and I can’t remember them ever having an election during that time,” he said. “As elections administrator, my goal is to see that they have a fair election system. There are some really good folks out there and they need some help. In order for the County to help, you would have to have an interlocal agreement, and in order to have an interlocal agreement, you have to have a city government.”
Bush said he has been working for several weeks to try and determine who has a legitimate claim as a council member or as mayor.
“Right now we are also trying to find out how to send a criminal investigator down there. Someone is getting property tax money and it may not be legit at all. I just want to help them get in compliance with the election law and code,” he said.
The City of Dayton Lake Estates was established in 1985. The community is located off of FM 1008 near Kenefick.