Sludge Oozes From Faucets in Town Where Nearly Every Elected Official Faces Corruption Charges

Sludge Oozes From Faucets in Town Where Nearly Every Elected Official Faces Corruption Charges A tanker truck brings water to Texas town where black goo is pouring from faucets and into toilets. (San Antonio Water System/Twitter)

Black water is flowing from the taps in Crystal City, Texas, where nearly every city official faces federal corruption charges.

Residents began posting photos of black sludge disgorging from their taps earlier this week, saying they had no notice their water would become undrinkable. "It was pretty scary," Nora Flores-Guerrero told KSAT-TV.

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The goo started flowing just one day after Mayor Ricardo Lopez was arrested during a Tuesday night city council meeting for allegedly inciting a riot. He has since resigned.

Nearly every top elected official in the town of 7,000 was arrested earlier this month and faces federal charges of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes and aiding an illegal gambling operation, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

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Those arrested included Lopez, Mayor Pro Tem Rogelio Mata, his brother Councilman Roel Mata, City Manager William James Jonas and former Councilman Gilbert Urrabazo.


On Thursday, the city's Facebook page carried a letter advising residents that the town's water tower had been cleaned and flushed, and a huge build-up of sludge had accidentally coursed through delivery pipes.

A water official said the above-ground reservoir hadn't been cleaned in at least two decades.

On Friday, city employees handed out bottled water and a tanker truck was on hand to provide drinking water.

It was not clear when city pipes would carry clean water.

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