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Waco water supply remains critically low; city and county officials move to protect system

Waco and McLennan County officials took steps Friday to protect the city’s water system. (File)
Waco and McLennan County officials took steps Friday to protect the city’s water system. (File)(AP)
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 2:44 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Waco Mayor Dillon Meek and McLennan County Judge Scott Felton issued orders Friday intended to protect the city’s water system as rising temperatures thaw pipes and reveal new leaks, which must be repaired.

“These steps are necessary because our water supply remains critically low,” the city said in a press release.

“While we do not expect shutting off the water throughout the entire city, a community-wide boil water notice is imminent if demand doesn’t change,” the city said.

“This demand is being caused by leaks around the city and high usage. The City of Waco is pumping twice our normal daily usage and the system’s storage is sitting at a critically low capacity.

Meek and Felton signed emergency declarations that require all cleaning/dyeing and laundry plants, commercial laundries, self-service laundries, and car washes in the city and county to cease all operations until noon on Monday and asks other commercial and residential customers to reduce consumption and limit use to no more than one gallon a day per person.

Waco City Manager Bradley Ford ordered the city’s top industrial water users to obtain approval of a consumption plan “prior to conducting any business.”

Felton’s order also encourages food service providers to use paper goods in lieu of dinner and silverware that must be washed.

The county order allows a water provider that doesn’t take water from the City of Waco and doesn’t intend to for seven calendar days to opt out by providing written notice to Felton.

A violation of the county order is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of as much as $1,000.

Meek’s declaration Friday “waives certain permit and inspection fees for the repair of damages caused by the winter storm. Permits and inspections are still required,” the city said.

“The emergency declaration also permits residents to place additional bagged trash at the curb. Additionally, the declaration suspends the requirement for tree limbs to be cut and stacked into 4′x4′x4′ piles, which allows for tree limbs to be cut and placed at the curb for future pick-up.”

To report leaks or low water pressure residents should call (254) 299-2489.

For further information on the details of the city’s orders, residents may call (254) 750-5970.

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