Timeline: Corpus Christi water problems go back years with several advisories, issues

Chemical concerns prompt another water notice in Corpus Christi

By RJ Marquez - Digital Content Curator

SAN ANTONIO - Corpus Christi area residents have been told not to use tap water due to concerns that a chemical may have contaminated the water supply.  

The area has had years of major water problems, dating back to the mid-1990s. Here’s a quick timeline of the water issues that have plagued the city in the past. 

August 1996: A filtration plant accidentally released too much potassium permanganate into the water supply.  The release of the chemical caused the water to turn shades of pink and purple. Officials said the water was still safe to drink despite the color.  

July 2007: Residents were asked to boil water for a week because city officials switched from a chlorine/ammonia blend to straight chlorine in the city's water system.

The switch was made to resolve problems with low disinfectant levels. Testing revealed there were no elevated levels of bacteria in the water. 

July 2015: Heavy rain prompted a boil water advisory for parts of Corpus Christi.

Officials determined E.coli was found in the water system and issued a boil water notice on July 23.

Officials said because of the rain, less residents turned on their sprinkler systems which meant water moved slower through the city water system, causing bacteria to form. The order was lifted on July 25.  

September 2015: Officials issue a boil water notice on Sept. 4-9 for four areas of the city because of low chlorine issues. All advisories are lifted on Sept. 16.  

May 13, 2016: City officials issued a water advisory on May 13 after low levels of chlorine disinfectant were detected in the water system. A sample also indicates bacteria present in the system.

This water advisory last two weeks, making it the longest citywide notice in recent history, according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times. 

May 17, 2016: Corpus Christi city manager Ron Olson resigned from office four days after the notice.

Many residents also call for Mayor Nelda Martinez to resign as well. The order was officially lifted on May 25.  

December 2016: The city notifies residents to avoid all use of tap water due to a possible contamination by an unknown chemical.

City officials confirm the water system was contaminated by Indulin AA86, an asphalt emulsifier.

Copyright 2016 by KSAT - All rights reserved.