Zavalla Water Concerns

In the 30 years that William Stanley has lived in Zavalla he's never drank the water. He says he has a good reason why.

"Sometimes the water looks milky and it takes a while for it to clear up. I just don't drink it."

Many others Zavalla residents we talked to also say the water is unfit to drink. Johnny White is one of the few who says his water is fine, but even he had problems when he first moved to Zavalla.

"It tasted it bad like sulfer was in it until the took the well off Highway 69. Now my water quality has improved 100 percent," White said.

Residents say the problem with the texas cancer registry's study is that it doesn't include any data since 2004. Several zavalla children have been diagnosed with cancer since then. One has even died. The zavalla isd is investing $40,000 in new water filters to protect their children.

Many of the people who live there say the water in Zavalla is so bad that they actually prefer driving a mile outside of town to go to a spring to get their water instead.

Scott Hasel is one of those who uses the spring. He said, "A lot of people drink it. It's cleaner than in town and out of town. You can see it's clear. In town it's yellow and at my house it's yellow. >

There's even a sign posted warning people not to drink the spring well. Many in Zavalla would still rather take their chances than drink the city's water.

"My grandmother, who is 84 years old, used to come over in a wagon to get water from that spring. Everyone I've talked to everywhere in town do it, too. People have gotten water from that spring on 147 down there every since the 1800's," White told us.

Zavalla residents are also waiting for ground water test results from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.