West Texas town spends four years without safe drinking water

Matthew Frankel of UT Austin discusses water testing with Angel Machuca in February 2023.

A history of water problems

Machuca investigates

Dials at the Toyah surface water treatment plant.

A council ally

Angel Machuca, seated on left, and Kelly Haragan, standing in center, discuss water testing in Toyah in February 2023.

Machuca reaches out

Toyah residents had their water tested by the UT Austin Environmental Law clinic in February.

‘How are we going to get water to this community?’

Ed Puckett helps operate Toyah's water treatment plant on a volunteer basis. During a tour of the plant in early February, he maintained that the water is safe to drink.

Reeves County began distributing bottled drinking water in January to Toyah residents. County employees store pallets of water bottles in town.

Those who drink the water and those who don’t

Loretta Campos, 93, photographed at her home in Toyah. She continues to drink the city water because people she trusts have said it is safe.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune

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