Water Crisis At Local VA Hospital Ends

WACO (April 17, 2014) Crews completed repairs on a damaged water main connection Thursday evening at the Waco VA Medical Center, restoring water service to the campus after a 24-hour interruption.

All patient care buildings were back to normal Thursday night and administrative operations will resume Friday.

“As with any water main break and repair, the water will be tested for bacteria by an independent certified laboratory. Until negative test results are back, bottled water will be provided to Veterans, visitors and staff for drinking. We expect test results back next week,” the hospital said in a brief press release Thursday night.

The hospital requested assistance from the Waco/McLennan County Office of Emergency Management and Fort Hood after losing water pressure at around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday as a crew worked to repair a damaged water main that left the hospital with a limited water supply.

The medical center called veterans to reschedule outpatient appointments that were scheduled for Thursday and advised the families of veterans who are inpatients about the situation.

Temporary arrangements were made to provide water for flushing toilets.

Bottled water and hand sanitizer were distributed to inpatient buildings.

The hospital’s fire suppression system is on a separate water supply line and was still in operation.

Earlier Wednesday the medical center initiated conservation measures after a contractor broke a water main Tuesday while connecting the line to a new water tower on the hospital campus.

The contractor originally anticipated repairing the break by 10 p.m. Tuesday, but then discovered another break and determined that a part needed to be ordered from Dallas, the hospital said.

The part arrived Wednesday and repairs were supposed to have been completed by around noon Thursday.