in Houston, Texas
Public records at work: See KHOU reporter Mark Greenblatt's story about not-so-safe drinking water, discover environmental reporting you can do
Wednesday, Nov 10, 2010, 03:10PM CST
By Trent Seibert
faucet

Hundreds of water providers around the Gulf Coast region are providing their customers with drinking water that contains radioactive contaminants that raise health risks, according to state lab results and public health scientists.

The revelations came to light during a four-month KHOU-TV investigation, which examined thousands of state laboratory tests from water providers across Texas. The data, provided by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), ranged from 2004 to the present. 

The radiation was first discovered as a part of required testing, under federal regulations, of all drinking water provided by community water systems in America.
Check out the story below:
 
It’s a story based on public records, which we applaud here at Texas Watchdog. We also like that the station created an interactive database that shows the contaminates in residents’ water supply across Texas.

It’s not just investigative reporters at major news stations that can do these kinds of stories, though. YOU can too. Texas Watchdog broadcasts “Trent TV” programs every month that show reporters, citizen-journalists and activists how to use public records to shed more light on their community. October’s topic was environmental reporting and was hosted by Texas Watchdog’s Jennifer Peebles.

If you’re interested in this kind of reporting, it’s worth watching Peebles’ easy-to-understand lesson on how to dig into environmental issues.
 
Reporting on environmental issues part I:

 
Part II:

Part III:
 
 
Part IV:

Let us know how you do with your digging and always feel free to call or shoot us an email with any questions.
 
Contact Trent Seibert at trent@texaswatchdog.org or at 832-316-4994.
 
Photo of faucet by Flickr user Cayusa used via the Creative Commons license.
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