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

Tap water runs black in Texas town where nearly every city official faces federal corruption charges.

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.

The water in #CrystalCity, Texas literally looks like sludge:

— ATTN: (@attn) February 20, 2016

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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.

Welcome to #CrystalCity Texas where the water is Crystal clear - NOT

— NaphiSoc (@NaphiSoc) February 19, 2016 

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.

FBI arrests mayor, city council members tiny TX town #CrystalCity; contractor & gambling bribes, aiding illegals

— Mary Pat Ryan (@MaryPatRyan) February 9, 2016


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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