Tahoka residents asking questions about failing city water pipe - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Tahoka residents asking questions about failing city water pipes

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TAHOKA, TX (KCBD) - For the fourth time this year, Tahoka residents are asked to boil their water, and now residents are the ones asking questions.

The city's water supply was shut down Monday morning after a main water line broke. This also happened on October 11th, August 13th and January 26th.

Residents say with or without a boiling water ordinance they still wouldn't drink the water. Lupe Perez lives a block from Monday's water main break in Tahoka, but she wasn't home when the city called to notify her. 

"They did try calling me, but I didn't get the call. Tahoka waters just nasty. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone," said Perez.  

George Gonzalez says his restaurant has three filtration systems to keep the water clean.

"When the water main breaks, the water is a red color so I have my filtration system," said Gonzalez. 

Gonzalez also tests the water regularly and showed KCBD that the results were twelve times the amount that they should be. "Clean water is 100 in a million the test says 1200," Gonzalez told us. This means that the water has 12 times above the amount of minerals it needs to be clean. 

We asked several residents in Tahoka if they felt safe drinking the water. "They tell me not to drink it, but I do it anyway," said Katy Martin.  

Perez lives very close to the water main break and she questions whether or not she is being overcharged on her water bill."My water bill last month was double I feel like this break has a lot to do with it," said Perez. 

We contacted Tahoka City Manager, Jerry Webster, to find out if the water break was affecting the sudden increase in Perez's water bill. "The water break is not from a service line, it's a main line. So, no, it should not affect her bill at all," said Webster. 

The City of Tahoka has applied for grants to fix the water main breaks, but the Department of Water said they do not qualify. Tahoka recently applied for funds from the Economically Distressed Areas program and they are awaiting the results of that application.

During a boil water advisory:

  • Do not consume tap water that has not been disinfected, ice or drinks made from tap water that has not been disinfected, or raw foods rinsed with tap water that has not been disinfected.
  • Disinfect water by boiling at a rolling boil for 1 minute
  • Safe alternative sources of potable water include bottled, treated or distilled water. 
  • Sanitize dishes by washing in dishwashing machines that have a dry cycle or a final rinse that exceeds 113E F for 20 minutes or 122E F for 5 minutes or 162E F for 1 minute. Hand-washed dishes should be rinsed for one minute in a dilute bleach solution (1 tablespoon per gallon) and allowed to air dry.
  • It is okay to wash clothes.
  • Provide pets with boiled water after it is cooled.

Upon rescinding of a boil water advisory:

  • Flush household pipes/faucets: run cold water faucets for 3 minutes each if they have not been used in the last 24 hours.
  • Flush home automatic ice makers: make three batches of ice cubes and discard all three batches.
  • Drain and refill your hot water heater if set at a low temperature (below 113E F).
  • Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle.
  • Drain reservoirs in tall buildings.
  • Flush drinking fountains: run continuously for 3 minutes
  • Flush water coolers: run coolers with direct water connections for 5 minutes

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