WHITEHOUSE, Texas (News release) - As of this afternoon, we continue to struggle with keeping up with the demand on our system. Today we have experienced water main breaks and damage from electrical system fluctuations that occurred during and after the storm.
Around 10 a.m. we had a 12-inch water main break. This break impacted our system in two ways. First, we had to shut down the operation of one of our booster pumps to relieve pressure on a nearby valve and to ensure the safety of our crews. This also meant that we required a large amount of water to refill and recharge this line putting us further behind in keeping up with demand.
In addition, one of our six wells stopped functioning. This well pump was replaced last summer and likely stopped due to the fluctuations in the power supply over the past week. Our contractor responded immediately and is on-site making repairs.
The main computerized controls of our water system also suffered significant damage during and after the storm. We have an antenna located on top of one of our water towers that had to be replaced and new cabling that had to be run down the length of the tower. As this system was repaired yesterday and through today, we continued to experience failures in other linked equipment and as a result of electrical fluctuations.
Other operational updates:
- We are sourcing water from the City of Tyler.
- We have brought in additional crews to ensure swift responses to any main breaks or leaks.
- Flushing through fire hydrants has been significantly reduced but must continue to prevent damage and to improve water quality.
- The City Hall awning damaged by the storm has been removed allowing safe operations at the City drive-through beginning tomorrow, February 23.
- Trash services resumed on the normal schedule today.
- We have contacted the local car washes to cease operations.
- Police, Fire and Administrative staff have been assisting by turning meters off and on so Public Works crews can focus on main breaks and leaks.
Again, service will be intermittent as our system comes back online. Customers can expect that we will experience water main breaks, leaks, sewer stoppages and other things that may impact our supply. When you receive water you can expect there to be sand or dirt, discoloration, air, odor, and milky water. Once you have full pressure at your home, you only need to run your faucets for a few minutes to ensure your lines are functioning properly. Please do not continually run your water to try and clear it up.
Conservation will still be necessary to ensure our system remains up and running. If each and every Whitehouse resident does their very best to make this community effort a success, we will be able to continue to provide water to the entire City on our way to returning to full capacity.
If you experience a leak in your home or you observe a water main break, it is critical that you call (903)510-7500, option 3. If it is an after-hours emergency call (903)245-8274. We need to immediately address any leaks and breaks to ensure we have enough water to continue to distribute.