water boil notice

Update: The state lifted the water boil notice Sunday evening. At 6:50 p.m. Sunday, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality officials said that residents could resume normal water usage.

Information below was posted Friday at 5:32 p.m.

City of Beeville water customers will be under a boil water notice, beginning Friday afternoon and ending, hopefully, by sometime Tuesday.

As in the past when the city has been put under boil water notices, city officials are blaming chlorine evaporation rates caused by the recent hot weather.

City Manager Joe B. Montez met at 4 p.m. Friday after being notified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that chlorine residuals were dangerously low in some parts of the city. Although most of the problem was centered on the northwest quadrant of the city, Montez was recommending that all city water customers boil tap water before consuming it to assure that bacteria are killed.

City officials were expected to stop the flow of the usual disinfectant mix of chlorine and ammonia, known as chloramine, and start using straight chlorine to “burn” away any bacteria that might have accumulated in the city’s water distribution lines.

Experts at the Friday afternoon meeting said they wanted to assure city residents that the straight chlorine disinfectant is safe to consume. The chlorine could create some odor in the water.

“It’ll smell like the water in a swimming pool,” Montez said.

City Secretary Gabriela officially issued the Boil Water Notice for Community Public Water Systems shortly after 4 p.m. Friday.

The notice said the “TCEQ had ordered the notice with a warning for all customers to boil their water prior to consumption (e.g., washing hands/face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc.)”

The notice said all water to be consumed should be “brought to a vigorous rolling body and then boiled for two minutes” before being allowed to cool for consumption.”

Water utility employees said they will be purging water from hydrants and some elevated and ground storage tanks throughout the weekend. City water experts also will be testing the water at locations throughout the city all weekend to keep a record of the chlorine residuals in different neighborhoods.

However, the TCEQ must be the entity to finally approve the water in the system for consumption.

Water system supervisor Mitch Smith said he did not expect that to happen until sometime Tuesday. State officials will have to test the water in different parts of the city before they end the boil water notice.

Hernandez was asking all city residents who see this notice to contact everyone they know who lives in the city and notify them of the order.

The city will not be distributing bottled water during this emergency and it is recommended that city residents purchase enough bottled water to last until Tuesday.