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Texas Cities Urge Water Conservation Due Outages, Storage

“The situation is that Fort Worth water system (our supplier) is experiencing unprecedented water main breaks and other equipment failures due to this weather event,” Haltom City Manager Rex Phelps said.

Cars driving on a snow-covered interstate.
(TNS) - Haltom City is asking residents to conserve water as much as possible because there is a limited water supply until Fort Worth makes the necessary repairs at its north Fort Worth treatment plant.
"The situation is that Fort Worth water system (our supplier) is experiencing unprecedented water main breaks and other equipment failures due to this weather event", Haltom City Manager Rex Phelps said in an email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
"This has caused a situation where the water has almost stopped flowing into our water infrastructure that supplies our residents. We are currently getting by on water we have stored in our tanks. This storage is very limited. We are asking all citizens to conserve water at this time to make our limited supply last until Fort Worth can make the necessary repairs," Phelps said.
Phelps also said that the amount of water available in Haltom City depends on how much residents cut back on their usage. The city needs water to respond to potential fires, he said.
People are asked to drip their faucets and not "run them with continuous flow."
People are also being asked not to use washing machines or run their dishwashers.
Phelps said if people continue conserving, there is enough water in the storage tanks for several days, and that he hopes Fort Worth can make the repairs before the city runs out.
"We know that Fort Worth is doing the best they can and we appreciate how hard they are working to ensure we have water," he said.
The City of Denton issued a boil water notice late Wednesday afternoon that will be in effect for at least 48 hours, said city spokesman Ryan Adams.
"The notice was issued because water pressure dropped beyond the point where water quality could be guaranteed, and the water supply is susceptible to contamination," Adams said.
The city will have to go through 24 hours of testing before the boil water order is lifted.
Denton also urged residents to continue water conservation.
"At this time, we urge you to continue to conserve and ask that you close faucets and not drip or run water continuously. To allow our elevated tanks to refill, and to avoid a boil water notice and public health emergency, continued conservation will be critical throughout the day. We are hoping levels will rise even more by tomorrow, and the alert period can cease."
According to the city's Twitter feed, the city's storage tanks were low and advised residentes to use water only for essential tasks and not run water continuously.
The city said a drop in pressure could mean a boil water notice and many cannot boil water due to prolonged power outages.
Keller reported on its social media sites Wednesday afternoon that as water service was being restored, Fort Worth and Keller public works officials saw a dramatic increase in usage, similar to a hot summer day.
"This is stalling our efforts to get our water system refilled and back to appropriate pressure. This also delays our ability to lift the boil water notice," according to Keller's Twitter feed.
Southlake established an emergency interconnection with Grapevine that will help replenish the city's storage tanks.
The city is also asking for cooperation as its boil water notice is still in effect.
Early morning water started flowing back into Southlake's system, according to a statement on the city's website.
Southlake is replenishing its ground storage tanks and elevated tanks. The water supply from Fort Worth has been constant but at a very slow rate.
Southlake could extend the boil water notice for a week to give the city time to perform the necessary tests for water quality safety.
Meanwhile, Phelps said the efforts to conserve water in the cities is a "balancing act."
"Even if pump stations were back up and running, large water mains break, taking away pressure that pushes water out to their customers. We're doing better than a lot of cities. That doesn't mean we're good, it means we're asking people not to use water," Phelps said.
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