McAllen company seeking water samples from residents

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

A McAllen company has reportedly been distributing a "water quality survey" across town in an effort to sell water products, but officials with the City of Alice believe the survey is creating unnecessary concern among residents about the quality of the city's water.

Public Works Director Baldo Cantu said last week a company named Quality Water, with a McAllen address, has been distributing to residents small, empty bottles with instructions to fill the bottles with tap water and make them available for the company.

The survey begins with the statement, "For the next two weeks we will be testing water for the residents in your area. So there will be no inconvenience to you, please follow the instructions below."

Residents are then instructed to fill the empty bottle with tap water, complete a survey on the water, and to hang the water bottle in a bag on their front door for pick up.

Although the survey does inform the residents in small print that the company is "not affiliated with any city or local government," Cantu said the city has received several calls from local residents who believe the city is conducting the survey.

"From what I understand, from the phone calls I have made (to the company), they are just going to sell water softeners," Cantu said. "This is in no way associated with the City of Alice."

In a statement released to local residents in their utility bill this month, the city informed residents of the company and the survey.

"At this time, we would like to assure all residents that the City of Alice's drinking water continues to be safe and is currently under superior status rating from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality," that statement said.

A call to a toll-free number listed on the form Monday morning reached an answering service that offered to have a "technician" return the call.

The answering service could not provide answers to questions regarding whether the company was selling a specific product.