Winter Weather Impacts Water System

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Winter Weather Impacts Water System

==Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:56PM

Boil Water Notice Rescinded City of Athens – PWS 1070005 2/24/2021

On February 17, 2021, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the City of Athens public water system, 1070005, to issue a Boil Water Notice to inform customers, individuals, or employees that due to conditions which occurred recently in the public water system, the water from this public water system was required to be boiled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.The public water system has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of 2/24/2021.If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Mike Finney, Water Plant Superintendent (mfinney@athenstx.gov) at 903-677-6666 or the City Hall Utility Billing Department at 508 E Tyler Street at 903-675-5131.

==Tuesday, February 23, 2021 3:05PM

The City of Athens water system is back to normal operating pressure. We have had a lot of questions concerning the water conservation. All customers may return to normal water use.

Thankfully, several of the water systems around us have been able to lift the “Boil Water Notice” they were required to put in place. We, too, are working to get our notice rescinded as quickly as possible. We are flushing the system now and will take the required samples for testing within the next 24 hours.

When boiling the water is no longer required we will notify our customers the same way we posted the original notice, by posting on the City website at www.athenstx.gov, the City of Athens Facebook page, and our emergency text/call system.

We truly appreciate everyone that helped us get our system back online by conserving water and supporting our crews that worked through the weekend.

==Sunday, February 21, 2021 10 AM

As the City water system gets back to normal operating pressures and we are able to fill storage towers on all sides of town we wanted you to know what to expect next:

  1. Water in some areas may be slightly rust colored. This is from the cast iron pipes in the system. The color will subside once crews are able to fully operate the system and begin flushing water.
  2. When we begin flushing you will see water flowing from hydrants all over town. This is the only way we can flush water through the system.
  3. Water samples will be taken from all areas of town and sent to a laboratory for testing. This is done to ensure we have adequate disinfectant throughout the whole system.
  4. The sampling and testing process could take several days but we want to be certain the water is safe to drink.
  5. Once all the samples have successfully passed the require testing, we will request approval from TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to lift the BOIL WATER NOTICE.
  6. We will lift the notice the same way we announced it, by posting it on our website, sending email notifications and using our emergency notification phone/text system.

Thank you all for your support during the past week. Seeing all the “thank you” posts and posts of positive support by the citizens as the crews worked diligently to get the system back online was truly amazing.

Thank you Athens.

==Saturday, February 20, 2021

UPDATE 7:45 P.M

The City of Athens water system continues to improve each hour. We are watching our storage tank levels and have a very positive outlook.  Thank you to everyone that was tempted to do that load of laundry today but did not out of concern for others in the City with no water.

As the demand for water decreases overnight we should be able to recharge the system to its normal operating pressures. We know that people in several areas have been without water for a longer period of time than the rest of the City. We apologize for your wait. We are getting your water back on as quickly as we can.

The area near Super 8 Motel on the west side of town and area near Summit Apartments and Montgomery Street have been especially impacted by this water outage and we appreciate your patience. Hang in there, if you do not have water you will.


UPDATE 9 A.M.

We are slowly making progress pressurizing the system. Most areas of town now have water. Areas on the east side of town near Montgomery Street, Cedar Lane and the Summit Apartments and the west side of town near Super 8 Motel are at a much higher elevation than the rest of the City and may have extremely low pressure or no pressure until the entire system is back to normal operating pressure.

Sorry to keep repeating this but…it is extremely important that we continue to CONSERVE WATER so that these areas can have water too. We still need everyone to check there plumbing (commercial and residential), including your sprinkler systems for leaks and open valves.

The BOIL WATER NOTICE will be in effect for a minimum of 14 days. You may have a slight rust color in your water but that will subside once the system is back to normal pressure and we are able to flush the pipes thoroughly.


UPDATE 6:30 A.M.

We are currently pumping water into the entire system. We need your help. It is critical that everyone conserve water today so that we can increase the water pressure and get water to everyone in the City. Those people in lower elevations will get water first. Many people at higher elevations in the City have not had water since Tuesday evening.

==Friday, February 19, 2021

UPDATE 6:00 P.M.

The Athens water plant is back up and running this evening.
As we pressurize the system, please watch your plumbing for leaks. If you have broken pipes and need your meter turned off, please call our emergency on-call line at 903-681-7460 so we can assist you.
Conservation is key at this time. We’re asking all customers to limit the amount of freeze prevention activity involving running faucets.
You can also help by:
-- Reducing shower time
-- Not running the washer or dishwasher
-- Reporting leaks immediately
Due to reduced pressure and failure to maintain adequate disinfectant residuals, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required the City of Athens, PWS 1070005 to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption.
We will alert you when it is no longer necessary to boil water. You can learn more about what to do during a Boil Water Notice here. https://www.athenstx.gov/.../what-to-do-when-under-a-boil...
Late fees will not be charged on water bills this month and we will not disconnect service to citizens at this time. We understand how difficult this winter storm has been for many of our citizens.


UPDATE 8:30 A.M.

City Crews were unable to find the system break that  caused the drastic pressure loss last night. Fortunately, the plant is still operational. We will start filling lines again today. Please report all leaks to our on-call phone (903-681-7460). Until we find the problem located and fixed you will have no pressure or low pressure and at no time over the course of the next few days will you have normal pressure. We pumped more water into the lines yesterday than we would on the hottest day in July and could not keep everyone in service.  If you do regain pressure please remember to conserve if you can, fill up any storage containers you have so that if the pressure drops you have water to boil. We are thankful for your patience.

==Thursday, February 18, 2021

UPDATE 10:10P.M

We have no pressure on the system. Expect little to no water this evening. We have not found where our system is leaking but will continue to search. 

UPDATE 6:40 P.M.

We have experienced a drop in water levels in the City and this has resulted in some areas being without water.

Because of the rapid drop in the water level, we believe a leak is involved. Crews are out searching for the leak, but this search is hampered by road conditions and the fading light.

Please report any leaks to our on-call line maintenance crew at 903-681-7460. This is for emergencies only.

We will keep you updated as information is available.

UPDATE 7:30 A.M.

The water plant has been running and sending water into the system since Wednesday afternoon.
We worked through the night and were able to thaw the intake structure in Lake Athens. With that, this morning we were able to turn on our High Service Pump. This will allow us to send more water into the system faster.
Please inspect your plumbing for leaks. If you have broken pipes and need your meter turned off, please call our on-call line maintenance crew at 903-681-7460 so that we can assist you.

==Wednesday, February 17, 2021

UPDATE 4:00 P.M.

The Athens Water Plant has turned the pumps back on and and water is starting to slowly fill the lines throughout town. Customers should start to get water again this evening as long as there are no other problems.
Conservation is key at this time. We’re asking all customers to limit the amount of freeze prevention activity involving running faucets. Allowing water to drip from faucets during freezing weather is a good practice, but only the faucets farthest from the entry point/meter box.
Allowing all faucets in a home or business to run isn’t necessary and is creating unsustainable demand on the water system.
You can also help by:
-- Reducing shower time
-- Not running the washer or dishwasher
-- Reporting leaks immediately
The City of Athens has issued a Boil Water Notice, which follows:
Due to reduced pressure and failure to maintain adequate disinfectant residuals, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required the City of Athens, PWS 1070005 to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption.
To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.
When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.
If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Mike Finney (mfinney@athenstx.gov) at 903-677-6666.

UPDATE 9:26 A.M.
Due to the continued freezing temperatures the water pipes in homes and businesses are breaking. If you have broken pipes and need your meter turned off, please call our on-call line maintenance crew at 903-681-7460 so that we can assist you.

==

Update 6:30am: The chemical feeds at the water plant froze during the night causing the plant to stop producing water. We have changed to a free chlorine treatment and are filling the clearwells now so that by late afternoon we can push water back to town. A boil water notice will be issues later this morning.

==Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Update 11pm: Record low temperatures have created several failures in the water system that are now limiting the ability to produce a supply that meets demand. We are asking for all customer to limit their use of water to essential needs. Customers may experience periods of low pressure as this winter weather event continues.
We’re asking all customers to limit the amount of freeze prevention activity involving running faucets. Allowing water to drip from faucets during freezing weather is a good practice, but only the faucets farthest from the entry point/meter box.
Allowing all faucets in a home or business to run isn’t necessary and is creating unsustainable demand on the water system.
Updates will be provided as this situation evolves.
==
9:30pm: The City is experiencing lower than normal water pressures due to line breaks caused by freezing temperatures and unusually high water demand. Crews are working to address the situation. We will provide an update as more information becomes available. Please conserve water when you can.