By CRISTIN REECE
The lack of rain has hit Elkhart residents harder than most this week.
Elkhart city officials issued a boil water notice for residents on Thursday after a 6-inch water main broke – not once, but twice in two days.
“The tests we have to run after a line break takes 18 hours to run, then we have to send those samples to Nacogdoches,” Elkhart City Secretary Donna Surber said Thursday afternoon. “I’m sure everything is fine, but to be on the safe side, we are urging our water customers to boil their water prior to consumption. We hope to be able to rescind the boil water notice as soon as we get our tests back. We appreciate everyone’s patience.”
The notice, which was required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), recommends bringing drinking water and any water for cooking to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for at least two minutes.
“In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source,” the notice states. “When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption.”
Elkhart water customers may contact Elkhart city officials at 903-764-5657 or 903-805-7053 with questions or concerns.
Wednesday’s break was reportedly caused by the severe dry weather the county is currently experiencing.
“We noticed the first break early Wednesday and our guys worked until literally dark to try to get it fixed,” Surber said. “Apparently it’s so dry the ground started shifting around and the line broke.”
Surber said city workers were not able to finish repairs on Wednesday, and city officials decided to turn the water back on to customers for the night.
“We just had to let it leak all night, but they were right back to it on Thursday,” Surber said. “It didn’t help that this line is encased in cement and about eight feet deep.”
To complicate matters, the same line broke again in a different place on Thursday as well. City officials said that break could have been caused as the first break was being repaired.
Visit the Palestine Herald Press’s website, www.palestineherald.com, for updates on this matter.