Toad Stops Water Tower Work
A multi-million-dollar water system upgrade for Kosse, Texas, has temporarily croaked, thanks to a single toad found on the premises of the to-be water tower.
According to local news station KXXN, Houston toads are critically endangered; there are only a few hundred of them left in the wild.
Brian Henley, animal care manager of amphibians and reptiles at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, told KXXN in an interview that Houston toads hadn’t been seen in the area since the 1970s. Otherwise, they can only be found in a few areas throughout the state.
The Houston toad reportedly needs a specific environment, composed of loose, deep sands supporting pine and oak trees, in order to survive.
The problem? The area around the water tower is a perfect habitat for the croaking critter.
Kosse Mayor Jarred Eno recently also noted that the town’s $2.4 million water tower project has been put on hold by the Environmental Protection Agency due to the possibility of the Houston toad calling the area home.
Moving forward, the EPA will conduct a three-year Presence or Absence Study to determine if the Houston toad has a habitat there.
Kosse Water System
The city of Kosse needs to upgrade its water system, noted Eno; the one currently in use was originally built in the early 1900s. To prevent the project from being delayed any further, the mayor also announced that the city would take another route and install a system in an area already approved by the EPA.
"We've decided to put in ground storage tanks and the pressure tanks at one of the well sites," Eno said. "That will pressurize our system and eliminate the need for a water tower."
According to the city’s website, the new water system includes two wells, two ground storage tanks, a new water treatment plant and a new water tower and pipeline.
Eno noted that the change in plans will give the residents of the area what they need, while also allowing the toad a safe place to call home.