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Residents, nine schools given order to boil water

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Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 12:00 pm | Updated: 3:17 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Robert Nathan

Killeen Daily Herald

Several residents and nine area schools in southwest Killeen were issued a water boil order Tuesday after an electronic failure in the water distribution system caused water pressure to drop Monday evening.

The area affected by the low water pressure is bounded by U.S. Highway 190 on the north, Reese Creek Road on the south, Fort Hood Road on the east and Clear Creek Road on the west.

The Killeen Independent School District was instructed to shut off water fountains and have water delivered to the campuses of Clear Creek Elementary School, Pershing Park Elementary School, Iduma Elementary School, Willow Springs Elementary School, Maxdale Elementary School, Sugar Loaf Elementary School, Palo Alto Middle School and Live Oak Ridge Middle School.

"We did not have a water break. What we had was an electrical failure on the controller for the pumps," Public Works Director Jim Butler said. "As soon as we found that out, we started the pumps manually and got water back into the system."

To ensure destruction of any harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and for making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to consumption, officials said. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two more minutes.

Butler said the boil water notice will be in effect until water sampling results confirm no contamination occurred during the electrical failure. he said water tests were sent to Waco on Tuesday and the city expects to receive results at noon today, which will determine how long the boil order will be in effect.

"When the pressure in the system drops below a certain level, you need to go out and put a boil order notice out and test the water system to make sure it meets the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) standards," Butler said.

The electronic monitoring for the water distribution system went into fault mode at around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

"The computer froze and was telling us that the tanks were full when actually they were going empty," he said. "We responded and we got the system back up and it was showing all of the tanks were full and everything was good and we started getting phone calls that the water was out."

Contact Robert Nathan at ranathan@kdhnews.com

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