Palestine city official discusses steps toward rescinding boil water notice, preventing future incidents

Updated: Apr. 23, 2019 at 2:47 PM CDT
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PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - The city of Palestine’s public works director said part of the issue that caused a water treatment plant to lose power, which eventually caused three water line breaks, was the lack of a generator at the plant.

A storm rolled through Palestine on April 18, knocking out power to the plant. Felipe Garcia, the public works director, said the plant did not have a backup generator, which would have been triggered after electricity was lost. Garcia said it caused 16 hours to find a generator to operate the plant due to the unique amount of voltage needed to power the plant.

RELATED: Boil water notice issued for some Palestine residents following water main breaks

“We found several that thought they might work," said Garcia. “But after getting them here, with electricians on-hand, they weren’t able to make the transition.

Power was later restored to the plant in full by Oncor crews. The city said that as the water pressure built back up following the issues at the water treatment plant caused three main line breaks, and forced the city to issue a boil water notice.

The notice was rescinded on April 21. However, residents of County Club Road are under a Boil Water Advisory issued by the city. Garcia said the generator that would’ve been used after the most recent storm will be on standby for stormy weather forecasted for Wednesday.

“We have it here just in case something unusual happens,” Garcia explained. “We’ve got contractors coming -- electrical contractors coming -- to see what our options are to ready for another emergency such as this that will give us options on setting transformers and such to bring a more common generator in and run the plant.”

Garcia said the reason a generator wasn’t already readily available came down to cost, but that city officials are now looking into ways to have a generator on hand for future incidents.

As for the boil water notice, city officials have said the notice could be rescinded for residents near Westwood and Country Club roads in full by Wednesday; samples were sent Tuesday to be checked. As long as the samples pass, officials said the notice would be rescinded.

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