Ponder Residents' Water Troubles Started Well Before Erin Brockovich Caused an Outcry in Plano

Months before environmental activist Erin Brockovich criticized North Texas water, residents of Ponder were suspicious of what was coming out of their taps. They complained of skin rashes and irritation that seemed to only happen when in contact with their city's water. Meghan Avigliano said her entire family — her husband and their 3- and 5-year-old daughters — experienced everything from itchiness to pain. Soon, they could have answers. Researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington are scheduled to arrive in the Denton County town Tuesday afternoon. A group from UTA's Collaborative Laboratory of Environmental Analysis and Remediation will take skin samples from 15 to 20 Ponder residents and water samples from their homes. And test results should be available in about three weeks according to Zacariah Hildenbrand, a UTA lab affiliate and member of its scientific advisory board member.He said one possibility is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a drug-resistant bacteria sometimes found in hospitals. The bacteria are also seen occasionally in drinking water supplies and aren't necessarily killed by chlorination and other forms of disinfection."Some of these microbes can survive those rather challenging conditions," Hildenbrand said.Researchers will also test for many microbes, chemicals and disinfection byproducts.  Continue reading...

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