BEEVILLE – City water is safe to use, according to Sig Watten, the water distribution collection supervisor for the city.
Just do not drink it unless it has been submitted to a rolling boil for at least two minutes.
And even that is just a precaution, Watten said. It is a health safety requirement issued by the state.
Rumors spreading around town that the water coming out of the pipes following this week’s water emergency situation is unsafe even for taking showers are wildly overblown, he said.
Watten said the water coming out of the George P. Morrill Water Treatment Plant at Swinney Switch is good.
That means the water in the storage tanks around town is safe too.
Residents can bathe in it; they can wash laundry in it.
“Just don’t drink it,” Watten said.
Yet, Bee County Emergency Operations Coordinator Robert Bridge said he is encouraging more care.
He said the medical experts say that a boil water notice means to boil any water intended for household use.
That means any water that will be used in the house, even to bathe.
However, Bridge said he believes a young, healthy person may be able to bathe in the city’s water if the person has no open sores or wounds and keeps the water out of his or her mouth, nose or eyes.
Bridge said he would recommend that water be boiled if it is going to be used to bathe small children or the elderly.
The coordinator said he will continue to make those recommendations until told otherwise.
Watten said “boil water” notices are automatic whenever the pressure in the city’s distribution lines drops below 20 pounds per square inch.
That happened Monday night, Tuesday and early Wednesday.
However, Watten said the water coming into the city since the plant reached full operational capability Wednesday has been of good quality.
“In fact,” he said, “the water quality now is better than it has been in some time.”
Watten said Thursday morning that samples of the city’s water were to be taken to Corpus Christi Friday for testing. The results were to be turned over to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and he expects the boiling water notice will be lifted by Friday afternoon.
Bridge said he would not encourage anyone to avoid bathing in the city’s water. Not bathing is a health risk too.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.