This week’s Fort Worth Weekly includes a guest column by Kendall McCook that criticizes Tarrant Regional Water District and Trinity River Vision officials for ignoring water quality in the Trinity River. The column shows he looked on the TRWD website for water quality data, and also checked out news stories, including one of mine from 2013.
On the website, he found nothing to show when or how often the district is testing the water or what the results were. We found water quality results at the agency’s website — though not necessarily in an easy-to-understand form, and not everyone in our office found that part of the website so easily.
Bottom line is, much has changed since I wrote my story. The water district now tests some parts of the river weekly, other parts less often.
The Trinity River has traditionally been considered a dirty river that you wouldn’t want to swim in or even eat a fish that you pulled from the water. But it’s cleaner than it used to be. All of the recreational areas near downtown are being tested, and consistently meet approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for recreational activities.
Pollution levels vary significantly, especially during the rainy springs and early summers. Weekly testing makes much more sense. And the water district, to its credit, tests the waters before recreational events are held.