Anthony Arredondo, left, holds a test strip to a comparison chart to show Freer Water Control and Improvement District (FWCID) Manager Diana Adame, right, that the tested water is less than one part per billion of arsenic, on Tuesday June 18, 2013, in Freer, Texas.
Freer Water Control and Improvement District (FWCID) benefits from the financial assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) to complete a two-phase approach to meeting the cityâs water supply and safety needs, on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Although, the naturally occurring arsenic levels have remained constant for more than a century, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safe level standards have established lower levels of arsenic to be safe for human consumption. To meet those levels FWCID approached USDA and was awarded a $986,000 loan for Phase I, to install two new water wells, each rated at 167 gallons per minute (creating a total of eight wells); 13,600 feet of well collection lines; and 15,000 linear feet of well control line to remotely control the well pumps and the 1,000,000 gallon holding tank at the well facility, which supplies water to the new Arsenic Removal System (Phase II). Previously, water was manually controlled by personnel who knew when and how long to manually opened and closed water valves or started well pumps to ensure holding tank levels were within operating levels during peek and slack times of the day. Phase II was a combination of a $1,832,000 loan and a $1,258,750 grant, which provided for the customized arsenic removal system, seen in these photos. The system includes a new 3,530 sp. ft. facility, on a .76-acre site, and houses the operations room, computer and power system, laboratory room, and pump systems. The entire operation can be monitored through a desktop computer interface system. The computer-controlled system ensures raw water is fed to the arsenic removal pump system, which works in sequence to maintain a constant pressure, when needed, to pump water through (blue) arsenic removal absorber vessels, and into ground storage tanks that feeds the residential and commercial needs of the city. Samples of water are periodically tested; and so far the arsenic levels have been below 1 part per billion (PPB), well under the 10 PPB limit. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
May 13, 2014