City: Longview boil water order lifted | Local News
The Town of Longview lifted a boil water order for residents on Friday.
Water samples taken received good test results after the boil water order was issued following a water main break early Wednesday.
“This test confirms that Longview’s water is safe to drink, following our recent citywide event,” said Director of Public Works Dwayne Archer. “I couldn’t be more proud of our teams who quickly isolated the issue and restored our system without any further complications.”
On Thursday, city staff collected water from two homes and sent the sample to be tested at a third-party lab. The city said on Friday the results were good and residents could once again consume the city’s water without boiling it first.
The city continued to flush the water system, it said in a statement. Residents who notice discoloration of city water should run the system for a period of time to allow the water to circulate.
Prior to consumption, the city suggested residents follow these guidelines:
Flush hot water faucets for 15 minutes and cold water faucets for five minutes or until cool.
Rinse your refrigerator filter with at least one liter of water or change the filter.
Automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil command and run on a 24 hour cycle, discarding the ice to ensure the ice maker water supply line is purged.
Run your dishwasher empty for a complete cycle.
Change any water filters currently in use.
Residents with additional water issues should contact the Public Works Department at (903) 237-1240.
In a video posted Friday afternoon On the city’s social media pages, Longview Mayor Andy Mack celebrated the end of the boil order surrounded by public works department workers. He held up a clear plastic cup half filled with water and took a long sip.
“Longview, the boil ban has been lifted,” Mack said. “Yes!”
Mack thanked everyone involved in the effort and the five members of the crowd behind him.
“What I really mean is this: sometimes our heroes come in the form of police officers and firefighters; this week it came in the form of public works. It was our heroes who put our city back together in just a few days,” he said.
Archer said in a statement Thursday that it was “the most significant water main break we have ever experienced.”
The boil water advisory was issued shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday following a burst in a 30-inch water main along the 281 Loop near Birdsong Street. In a video released Thursday by the city, Archer said the city became aware of the leak when operators began to see a decrease in volume in the city’s tanks. He said city staff then began scouring the roads to find him.
“It took us a while to locate him. It was under a bridge and it was dark, so it was hard to find,” Archer said.
Crews found the leak around midnight Wednesday and got to work trying to isolate the valves that would contain the leak, which would allow the city to turn the pressure back on for the rest of its customers.
In the hours following the discovery of the leak, some residents had no water while others had very little pressure.
“Once we started losing pressure in our system and it got pretty low, it became clear that there could be chloroform growth,” Archer said. “So the State of Texas is saying, ‘Hey, you have to issue this (boil water advisory) within 24 hours. ”
The situation caused the three major school districts that serve the city — Longview, Pine Tree and Spring Hill ISD — to cancel classes on Wednesday. Pine Tree and Spring Hill ISDs resumed classes on Thursday, while Longview ISD students returned on Friday.
The water main break also caused residents to rush to get clean water and businesses, especially restaurants, considered how to continue serving customers.
Water distribution points have been set up to allow residents to have free drinking water. Bottled water provided by Brookshire Grocery Co. was available Wednesday at the Longview Convention Complex, 100 Grand Blvd., and Longview Mall. On Thursday, the city regrouped at the only Longview Convention Complex with bottled water and bulk water available for residents who bring water-safe containers.
Part of North Longview was excluded from the boil water advisory because it is in a separate “pressure zone”, the city said.
On Thursday, city workers restored pressure to the system and filled Longview’s reservoirs. Crews have opened fire hydrants across the city to make sure the air is out of the pipes. Other staff members visited residences to collect water samples for analysis.
Initial reports that the boil water advisory would last at least until Saturday were revised after the city clarified Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements for it to lift the order. The city first said it needed two good reports of samples taken 24 hours apart, then revised that statement to one sample.
Those results came in on Friday, and the city reported around 11:20 a.m. that the necessary results were back, and the order has been lifted.
“I’m telling you, when you have a 30-inch water main break like that, that’s a big break,” Archer said Thursday. And I’m telling you, it took engineering personnel, it took personnel in the field to isolate this, to move forward and get it to where we can move forward and pressurize the system .
“It took employees in the factories, and I’ll tell you that each of these people, everyone involved in this process has done an incredible job. And we were able to quickly, in 24 hours really, start to bring those pressures up and it’s amazing. They did a fantastic job. They really did.