East Texas community with brown water, 3 month boil water advisory asking for answers

NOTE: This story is about the Stryker Lake water supply, not Striker Lake or the New Concord water system. Stryker Lake’s water supply water is pumped from deep wells, not the lake, and they only supply water to the west side of the lake.

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – An east Texas community just outside of Troup has issued multiple boil water advisories over the past three months. Residents say the water isn’t just dirty, it’s dangerous.

The Sparkman family has been without clean water since moving into their new home five weeks ago. Ever since, Courtney Sparkman has been on the phone looking for answers.

“We were just told to contact the county commissioners, to call the mayor, because we have ongoing issues with our water company, Stryker Lake Water Corporation,” Sparkman said on the phone with the county commissioner.

She then explained how, at a recent board meeting, many members of the community came together to voice their concerns. Sparkman says the water company’s board and director were both dismissive and didn’t offer much help. A handful of those residents contacted KETK news, all echoing the same message: their water is dirty and dangerous.

“People say when their pets drink water they vomit, and it happened to our dog,” Sparkman said.

The Sparkman family has a filtration system, yet some days their water is brown. She said contamination levels are bad, so her child cries at bath time because the water makes her skin itchy. Sparkman also noticed his skin starting to peel.

A neighbor lent her a home testing kit so she could see the contamination levels for herself. Bottled water listed in the green at 0. But, his tap water was in the red with levels above 700.

Residents say the water company says a massive leak is causing them to lose 300 gallons a month, but the leak has not been located. Sparkman says the director of the water company is hard to reach. It is often sent to voicemail and the answer is delayed.

“The director of the water company, it is difficult to reach her. You call her and sometimes she’ll be like, “Well, I’m at my other job,” Sparkman explained.

KETK News called the water company for more information and was also sent to voicemail. Residents say ownership of the business changed in October.

“The operator they used to have took care of everything in a timely manner. They never had any issues with the water quality. We spoke to the neighbors and they told us that since October the water company had changed hands and that’s when the problems started to arise,” says Sparkman.

Those using the Stryker Lake Water Corporation feel at a standstill as they run out of options and plead for relief.

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