Boil water notice issued as city of Kerrville experiences ‘unprecedented strain’ on water system

A boil water notice has been issued as the city of Kerrville experiences “unprecedented strain” on the water system, according to city officials.

KERRVILLE, Texas – A boil water notice has been issued as the city of Kerrville experiences “unprecedented strain” on the water system, according to city officials.

Officials said the strain on the water system is because of high demand from private water line breaks, as well as supply side issues from water wells that have been periodically offline throughout the last 48 hours due to freezing temperatures and ERCOT-mandated power outages.

“The city understands that many areas around the community are experiencing low water pressure. Unless your property is completely without water service, please do not contact the call center or emergency dispatch,” the city said in a news release. “Water pressure will be enhanced as the system is able to re-equalize as power is restored and properties with water breaks are turned off. If you are experiencing a water line break, please turn your system off on the private side of the meter. Due to icy road conditions and system prioritization, city staff are unable to turn your system off for you.”

The city is asking citizens to help conserve water where possible to ease further strain on the system.

“Please maintain water use for essential activities only, and wait for warmer temperatures before resuming non-essential use,” the city said in its release.

Because of the freezing temperatures, the city is predominantly utilizing ground water wells, officials said. As several water storage tanks have emptied over the day, and some water main breaks have occurred, the system pressure loss has triggered a boil water notice for water that is utilized for human consumption.

Due to reduced pressure, which the city said is “below 20 psi,” in the city’s water system, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the city of Kerrville’s public water system to notify all customers to boil their water prior to consumption, such as washing hands or face, brushing teeth and drinking.

“Children, seniors and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all customers should follow these directions,” the city said in its release.

City officials said to ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

“The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes,” according to the release. “In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.”

City officials said this does not apply to water utilized for bathing, washing dishes, etc.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes, city officials said. Once the boil water notice is no longer in effect, the public water system will issue a notice to customers that rescinds the notice.

The city continues to recommend that properties maintain a slow drip from all faucets to help prevent broken private water lines while freezing temperatures continue to be forecast over the next several days.

Anyone with questions regarding this matter can call the city of Kerrville at 800-258-5910 or 830-257-8000.