NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than a dozen cities in North Texas are still under evidence of boiling water, in part due to burst pipes, flooding homes and businesses, and placing immense strain on the water system.
“It’s just some kind of mess, if you will,” said Melissa Rycroft Strickland, who lives in Southlake with her husband and three young children. “Nobody should have to worry about water. That’s just something you should have. “
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This week’s winter storms devastated water systems across the state.
“The reality is, our systems are built for heat,” said Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). “They’re not necessarily built for prolonged cold weather.”
The supply teams in North Texas have been working around the clock to repressure and refill the tanks, depleted by burst pipes and high demand.
On Friday, February 19, Fort Worth lifted the cook notice for the northern part of the city.
Mesquite and North Richland Hills also gave residents permission to use their water.
The city of Arlington is expecting results for its water samples on Saturday morning, which could result in its current cooking recommendation being lifted.
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“Once the notice is lifted, the water in the system will be clean,” said Baker.
After everything that has happened this week, Strickland says it is hard to imagine simply going back to normal use.
“Even if we’re okay, it will be a while before I trust this water system and trust that it is clean and safe for me, my children, and our animals,” she said.
The TCEQ says people should feel safe using their water after a boil notification is lifted. There is no need to flush pipes or take additional steps.
Every water authority is required to thoroughly test water samples for bacteria before the notification is canceled.
With hundreds of water systems across the state under indication of boiling water, the TCEQ worked with the EPA to bring three mobile laboratories to these tests.
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Local governments such as the City of Fort Worth are also making efforts to collect additional samples from their laboratories to help smaller communities.