CENTRAL TEXAS (FOX 44) – UPDATE: A power outage has led to a boil water notice for several Central Texas cities.
Power was lost at approximately 1:10 p.m. Sunday at the Belton Water Treatment Plant. The Bell County Water Control and Improvement District #1, which supplies the city’s water, has issued a boil water notice effective immediately, May 8, 2022, for all cities it services, including: Killeen, Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Belton, Nolanville and the Fort Hood Military Reservation.
This includes all residents and businesses.
In addition, Harker Heights Assistant City Manager Jerry Bark sent out a statement Sunday night addressing the boil water notice:
“With the power being restored to WCID water plant, staff was hoping to see a regeneration of water into our storage tanks. The process is taking much longer than anticipated.
“The City of Harker Heights will get water around midnight tonight due to how much our whole system has depleted.
“Staff has made the decision to shut down the flow of water from our storage tanks to save what water the City currently has left for firefighting purposes. If we do not take these measures our tanks will be completely empty before we get water from WCID.
“Citizens and businesses will be without water until the City starts to receive water from WCID – which is expected at midnight tonight. Once there is enough water back into the storage tanks, then the values will be reopened in the early morning hours.
“Homeowners should turn off the water heater if the water is not running. Residents can go to the breaker box in the home and throw the breaker to the “off” position for the water heater.
“We apologize for the inconvenience and request that you share this information with family and friends.”
The City of Harker Heights announced Monday morning that it is rescinding Stage 4 Restrictions and will implement Stage 2 moderate water shortage conditions – which is mandatory conservation. The City says to conserve as much water for the next 24 hours.
The following uses and activities are prohibited in Harker Heights:
· Irrigation of landscaped areas
· Washing down sidewalks, walkways, driveways, or other hard surfaces
· Flushing gutters, or filling swimming pools or jacuzzi type pools
· No charity car washes
Sampling and testing of the water system will be taken Monday afternoon, and results are expected by Wednesday morning.
The City of Harker Heights sent out a statement Tuesday morning, saying the City is moving the drought restrictions to a Stage 1 – Mild Water Shortage Conditions, Voluntary Conservation. The City’s water storage facilities are back to normal operating levels.
The City says Stage 1 – is a water conservation by avoiding non-essential water uses to achieve a target reduction of five percent of the City’s total water demand. Irrigation of landscaped area with hose-end sprinklers or automatic irrigation systems should be limited to any two days of the week between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. Outdoor watering is discouraged between hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. – except with hand-held hoses.
Water use customers shall voluntarily limit outdoor water use by participating in the watering schedule for outdoor water use effective May 10.
The boil water notice is still in effect in Harker Heights. The City expects to have water sample test results back by Tuesday evening.
The Fort Hood Press Center also issued a statement on Sunday, saying officials are asking on-post residents to boil their water for drinking and cooking – as well as to continue conserving water by limiting laundry, washing cars and watering lawns until further notice.
Although expectations are the power will be restored by early evening, officials are requiring all water users to boil water until the system is recharged and lab samples indicate the water is safe to drink. It is anticipated the test results may not be available until May 10.
This boil water notice does not apply to North Fort Hood, which receives its water supply from another source.
The Killeen Independent School District has been notified of the boil order impacting all its campuses. The district said on Sunday that all campuses and buildings will open as planned on Monday, May 9. Students and employees are encouraged to bring bottles of drinking water with them for the remainder of the water boil order.
The School Nutrition Department will serve breakfast and lunch as planned.
The Cities of Belton, Killeen and Copperas Cove have urged residents to conserve water during this boil notice.
The City of Killeen’s Public Works Department said Tuesday morning that water testing sample results are expected to be released Tuesday night, and that they will update the community on the Killeen city-wide boil water notice as soon as possible.
Copperas Cove Mayor Dan Yancey rescinded Stage 4B on Monday, and has signed an Emergency Water Restrictions Stage 3 Order. Mayor Yancey rescinded the Stage 3 Order on Tuesday afternoon. You can go here for more information.
This news comes after the City of Troy recently had a city-wide boil water notice in effect.