A section of western La Marque was under a notice urging residents to boil water before drinking it or using it for food or ice preparation Wednesday after a malfunction at the city’s water treatment plant.

The city issued a boil-water notice Tuesday for households west of Interstate 45, between FM 1764 and FM 1765, from Saltgrass Crossing to Prairie Knoll.

The issue was caused by a malfunction Monday at the city’s water treatment plant that caused the system to switch from surface water to groundwater, city spokeswoman Colleen Merritt said.

“It caused a chemical imbalance in the chlorine residual,” Merritt said.

Wednesday morning, the city said officials were confident the water quality was returning to normal and said the notice would likely be lifted by today.

This week’s water incident is separate from an incident about two weeks ago that also caused a bad odor in water, Merritt said.

Scheduled annual testing of chlorine in water by the Gulf Coast Water Authority caused the odor and water of some homes in west La Marque to change, Merritt said. The city’s public services department flushed the water lines and did on-site water testing at houses on the affected streets, Merritt said.

The city did not issue a water notice then, which Merritt said was because there was not a health risk.

“There was never any threat to the public,” Merritt said. “It was not an issue of public safety, but there were odor and color changes.”

The city did issue a boil-water notice this week after the equipment malfunction because there was a chemical imbalance in the water, Merritt said.

Initially, the city contacted affected homeowners, but as word spread, the city posted the notice on its website, Merritt said.

Marissa Barnett: 409-683-5257;


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