Frustrations flaring over continued boil water notices, lack of service

Some Bandera County residents have had several days without clean water

BANDERA COUNTY, Texas – Numerous people in Kerr, Bandera, and Bexar counties are struggling with little to no water, and those who still have service to their homes have been under a boil water notice for nearly a week.

Cassandra Proctor said she lives in the Lake Medina Shores subdivision in Bandera County.

“The water’s not on at all. There’s nothing. It’s overwhelming. Like I said, five kids, two adults every day,” she said.

Proctor said she hasn’t seen a drop of water out of her tap at her home since early Friday morning. Others in the same subdivision have had the same issue or sporadic service, making life difficult during the holiday season.

“The basketball hoop we bought the kids do Christmas, we weren’t able to actually set it up because we don’t have water,” said Proctor.

Andrea Helmer, a neighbor, added, “There was no hype to get Christmas dinner made because I couldn’t do dishes.”

For many, dishes are piling up, leaving an unwanted mess. Many household chores have to take a back seat to ensure there’s enough drinking water for the family, pets, livestock and personal hygiene.

Families have to get creative to conserve the bottled water and jugs of water they have. Many are only flushing toilets when necessary.

One family said they’ve poked holes in the top of water bottles to use as little water as possible when putting water on the bristles of their toothbrushes.

“February ‘21, we went through this a few months ago. We started receiving notices in the mail saying, ‘We’re going to charge you more for your water because we had to invest millions in infrastructure.’ Where?” said Morrison Caron, a Lake Medina Shores resident.

Even with some water donations, people struggling to get by think more needs to be done. They want water donations and something to help with the added expenses incurred due to a lack of water or useable water.

“It’s not a want. It’s a need. It’s a necessity. Come and fix these pipes,” said Andrea Hemler.

According to the Texas Water Utility West Regions office, the Lake Medina Shores water system is supposed to be pressurized by the end of Wednesday. They will then have to test it to ensure it’s safe for use.

Other subdivisions under a boil water notice are the following:

  • Holiday Villages of Medina in Bandera County
  • Oak Ridge & Verde Park Estates in Kerr County
  • The Oaks North Mobile Home Estates in Bexar County

Below is an updated statement from Tim Williford, vice president of operations, West Region, Texas Water Utilities:

“On Tuesday, Dec. 27, the boil water notices for Enchanted River Estates and Westwood Oaks were lifted, and on Wednesday, Dec. 28, the boil water notice for River Bend Estates was lifted. Lab results indicated the water in these systems is free of bacteria.

“Currently, precautionary boil water notices remain in effect for Lake Medina Shores/Holiday Villages of Medina, Oak Ridge Estates, Oaks North Mobile Home Estates and Verde Park Estates.

“The water system serving Texas Water Utilities customers in Holiday Villages of Medina is operating under normal conditions. The Lake Medina Shores system is nearly pressurized and holding, with service restoration to all customers in this area anticipated by end of day. Samples for this area will be collected once pressure holds in Lake Medina Shores.

“Loss of pressure in this system was the result of one main line leak and one service line leak in addition to many customer line leaks caused by the recent freeze. With many of the homes unattended and not properly winterized during three consecutive freezing events, customer leaks continued to drain water from the system. Texas Water Utilities’ wells, pumps and storage tanks have remained operational throughout.

“When pressure in the Lake Medina Shores system dropped, Texas Water Utilities immediately alerted customers via their customer alert system and issued precautionary boil water notices in addition to valving off the system to let storage tanks recover. Crews have been monitoring customer meters and thoroughly inspecting the area in an attempt to identify and fix leaks, working over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to resolve issues affecting customers in this area.

“Of the remaining systems under a boil water notice, Oak Ridge Estates is now operating as normal, and samples will be collected today and delivered to the lab for analysis. Oaks North Mobile Home Estates and Verde Park Estates are maintaining distribution pressure. However, pressure remains low at higher elevations. Samples for these areas will be collected once operations return to normal.

“We will continue to provide updates to our customers and the community as we have them and will advise when boil water notices have been rescinded. Providing safe and reliable water is of the utmost importance to us, and we sincerely apologize to our customers for this inconvenience.”


More than 1,500 households still under boil water notice Wednesday in Bexar, Kerr and Bandera counties

About the Author

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

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