‘Black Sludge’ Pours out of Texas Town’s Faucets Days After FBI Arrests Nearly Every City Official

Tap water in Crystal City, Texas. (photo: KSAT12 NEWS)
Tap water in Crystal City, Texas. (photo: KSAT12 NEWS)


Alex Zielinski | ThinkProgress | Reader Supported News | February 19, 2016

ily black liquid is coming out of residential faucets in the rural Texas town of Crystal City, and no one is sure who to alert. That’s because twelve days ago, the FBI arrested all but one the top elected officials in town for their involvement in an illegal gambling ring and immigrant smuggling.

The murky water force local schools to close early on Thursday, a decision made by the school district Superintendent Imelda Allen.

“There’s not really anyone in charge to oversee and to make people aware of the condition of the water. So I wasn’t going to wait for anyone to call me from City Hall. I know that leadership is not present at the time,” Allen said.

Instead of calling vacant city officials, residents turned to Facebook and Twitter to alert others of the problem on Wednesday. Crystal City’s Facebook page, manned by an unknown city staffer, informed residents of the problem the following morning — and simply encouraged them to “boil water if necessary.”

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