By CRISTIN REECE
Neches Water Supply Corporation has issued a boil water notice to some of its customers after mechanical failure took one of the corporation’s wells offline over the weekend.
Neches WSC Superintendent Dianne Fox said the pump motor at well No. 2 failed over the weekend and had to be replaced. Water customers, especially those living from County Road 363, south to the Palestine city limits and from U.S. 79, east to Lost Prairie Lake, are urged to boil their tap water prior to consumption.
“The boil notice went effective on Saturday,” Fox said Monday. “Our well has been repaired and we were back online as of 9 p.m. last night (Sunday). We have taken the required samples for the state-mandated testing and hope to have the ‘all-clear’ by tomorrow (Tuesday).”
WSC officials said boiling water helps ensure the destruction of all potentially harmful bacteria and other microbes that could have developed when the well was inoperable. Water for drinking, cooking, and for making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to consumption.
The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, consumers may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.
“We thank our customers for their patience and understanding in this matter,” Fox said.
Some Neches WSC customers, like Lester Gilbert and his homecare nurse Dianna Brownfield, expressed concern about how the corporation notifies its customers of issues.
“I just wish they had a better notification system,” Gilbert said.
Brownfield added, “I found out about this notice on the internet, but not everyone’s on the internet, even these days.”
Fox said the corporation’s phones are answered 24/7 by its staff and an answering system after hours. Fox said the answering service was instructed to inform customers who called in over the weekend about the boil water notice.
“We’ve been working to reach our customers, personally and through television and social media, to get the word out,” Fox said. “I’ve spoken with quite a few customers myself — our phones haven’t stopped ringing, understandably. Unfortunately, the newspaper doesn’t come out over the weekends or on Monday anymore, so that avenue was closed at the time.
“I’d love to have a better way — I just don’t know what that might be.”