PONDER, Texas -- Technicians working for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality returned to the Denton County town of Ponder on Tuesday to continue testing water samples after a series of complaints about suspicious rashes that some residents believe might be caused by the local water supply.
“This is a rash that occurred after a shower," Seraluna Sanchez told WFAA while sifting through several photos from her own family and photos given to her by other residents.
“I believe there was also some on his face that day," she said while showing us pictures of her toddler son. “It’s a burning itching sensation and it’s red," she said of the contact dermatitis diagnosis she eventually received.
Her complaints, and concerns that the groundwater in Ponder might be to blame, have the entire Denton County town talking, including those who worry the entire conversation may be unjustly muddying the town's good name.
“I have no problem at all telling you that the water is safe," said Public Works director Gary Morris. “I’ve been here 26 years, so I do take it personally like it’s my water that I’m trying to produce."
Ponder residents, including those who have started a Facebook discussion group called The Water Fixers, with more than 100 members, say the problems started late last year. Several report rashes and hives after taking showers or washing dishes. But town officials say that in every state-mandated water test, no problems have been found.
“We’re doing everything possible to make sure that there is not something we’re missing or make sure that there’s something out there that we need to take care of," said Morris.
But sporadic complaints persisted. So Tuesday, technicians for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality returned to Ponder to test the last of the town’s seven groundwater wells. Results will be available perhaps in a few weeks -- good news for concerned moms like Seraluna Sanchez.
“We work with good people, and we want to see this moving forward," she said. "We want to see Ponder shed in a good light. And I think with this new testing we will have some relief soon and we’ll know what’s going on.”
Going on....in a town counting on good water and counting on its clean, good name.