The system never lost positive pressure as a result of the break, Black explained, so no contaminated water has entered the system. The company is testing and monitoring the water quality throughout the process to repair the line.
The break in a 12-inch water line happened July 29, but El Oso does not know how the break happened.
They are working hard to repair the line as quickly as possible, so that the boil water order can be rescinded.
"El Oso WSC issued a Boil Water Notice due to a leak which is located on a 12 inch main in under the San Antonio River," said Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) spokesperson Andrea Morrow.
"The boil water notice is issued as a precaution to protect the public against illness that could occur due to possible incursion of river water. The system is in the process of repairing the line. Once the line is repaired and testing indicates the water meets public drinking water standards, the boil water notice will be lifted."
El Oso also posted at their website (elosowsc.com) a notice encouraging their customers to conserve water as the company works to make the repair to the water line and also struggles to repair other line breaks in the system.
Customers will be notified as soon as the boil water order is rescinded, Black explained.
Below is the text of the boil water notice posted July 29:
Public Notice to Boil Water
July 29, 2014
Due to a river crossing line break, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required our water system El Oso Water Supply Corporation (PWS # 1280007) 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 Carolyn Pfeil Black at El Oso WSC (830) 583-3543.