Citizens react to waterplant woes

Staff Writer

“This whole thing is pretty sad,” said Blanca Montemayor, 52, of San Benito, referencing the fact her only water source remains in dire need of repairs and is presently operating while out of compliance with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) standards. Montemayor said she “drinks distilled water…because the (city) water is disgusting.”

Findings presented by the city’s engineering firm Lou Portillo and Associates PLLC have shown that Plant No. 1 requires hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.

Eleno Torres Jr., 35, said, “I thought I was safe, before, but I don’t think so now.” Specifically, Torres expressed concerns for the quality of drinking and bathing water that is out of compliance with TCEQ regulations.

Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

Permanent link to this article:


Skip to comment form

  1. All seriousness aside, the bottom line is San Benito got played and Cruz never thought he would blamed for this $17 million heist. He looked at San Benito and the politicians of San Benito as easy pray to make money by simple offering kick-backs, and this is the results of corruption. The politicians vote and than take their money and the tax payers suffer at the end. Cruz got exposed and he need to pay the price bottom line, and no excuse will get him of the hook… Now, Cruz will probably not go down alone! So, all his close friends/ politicians back in day get ready because Cruz ain’t going down alone… The San Benito saga continues, and the tax payer are manipulated once again.. Get this over and done with, and the money you get Cruz’s insurance built another water plant that does work… Gee.. Elect time people get Joe G Gonzalez and Penny the hell out… Bring in New Commissioners and see if this process doesn’t move fast!!!

    • Perfect on January 16, 2015 at 10:46 pm
    • Reply

    To IMA DIUNCE: well Said!

    • Reform San Benito on January 16, 2015 at 6:13 pm
    • Reply

    Everything mechanical fails, so we should not be upset with that; it was bound to happen eventually. What seems to be the problem with our water treatment plants is maintenance. That’s what Cruz tells us was the cause of water plant two’s failures, maintenance. Maybe he’s right. I just find it too coincidental that both plants would reach critical stages so close in time.

    Who’s in charge of the water department and maintaining the equipment? Maybe this person is not qualified to be in that position. Maybe this person received that position, not by what he/she knows, but who. Happens all the time around here. Would not surprise me.

    Or, maybe the problems with the water plants are actually a conspiracy involving the other communities in the RGV. Maybe they actually sabotaged our water plants in the hope that our water would run out and the people of SB would perish so they no longer have to read about our corruption and incompetence.

    If I was Cruz-Hogan, that would be my defense.

      • IMA DUNCE on January 16, 2015 at 8:43 pm
      • Reply

      It was the city of Harlingen who conspired to sabotage our water treatment plans to annex San Benito with all its high paying jobs imported from China. Isn’t Cruz-Hogan based in Harlingen, Texas?

      That is my story and I am sticking with it.

  2. REPLY to #Disgusted tax payer, #And that is the truth…..

    I whole-heartily agree with your comments because RESPONSIBILTY correlates or complements with ACCOUNTABILY.

    If you knew me personally, you would understand that in no way am I defending anybody in the City Commission or City Hall.
    With the exception of Mayor Celeste Sanchez, there seems to be total silence emanating from the City Commission. It appears that the only time the City Commissioners are quoted in the SB News is when they are asking to be re-elected or expressing disbelief as to the situation.

    My commentary was not at all an attempt at “adding nuance or a degree of difference” to the main topic of Ms. Heather Cox critical article. The rationale for my comment was in response to emails I received from citizens questioning the water quality and whether it was safe to drink or use.
    Trust me, I have not forgotten nor am I ignoring the $17 million fiasco and the rehiring by the current CC members (excluding Commissioner Tony Gonzales) of Cruz-Hogan Engineering in 2013 to be city engineers.

    As #DisgustedTaxPayer very succinctly put it:::

    “Or, elect new commissioners 2015.. SIMPLE TAX PAYERS!!!”

    And to quote another commentary: “Thank You for reading my blog”!!


    • Sam on January 16, 2015 at 12:40 pm
    • Reply

    Where is the ACCOUNTABILITY? In the real world, someone would have to find a new job. We are beyond Surprise anymore. WE NEED NEW COMMISSIONERS NOW!

    • And that is the truth ... on January 16, 2015 at 10:03 am
    • Reply

    One can nuance words and quote facts all day long but the fact remains that we have a ‘new’ water plant and it doesn’t work. The citizens of San Benito have been defrauded. Those individuals and companies responsible should all be held accountable.

  3. The point should be, who’s responsible and how’s it going to get fixed. Once again we can’t ignore the $17million dollar expenditure on the water plant that was never operational. We need accountability for the wast of tax payer dollars and stop dancing around the issue! Get it fixed one way or another and this issue will be history….. Or, elect new commissioners 2015.. SIMPLE TAX PAYERS!!!

    • Jose F. Rodriguez on January 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm
    • Reply

    Based on my notes and understanding when present at the CC meeting where Lou Portillo & Associates and Consulting Engineer Mr. Gutierrez presented the “preliminary findings” in their assessment of WTP #1, the non-compliance by the City of San Benito regarding TCEQ requirements is “for lack of a BACK-UP water pump and NOT the quality of the water”.

    In my humble opinion, I agree with Mayor Celeste Sanchez that the water is safe to drink. As part of the reporting process, the City mails in July of every year to each water customer/citizen the “Consumer Confidence Report” also known as the “Annual Drinking Water Quality Report”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.