Edmond Jones, resident of Yates Road in south Killeen, said that this was the third time this year that the city has had to come out and fix the water line near his home.
“It’s terrible,” he said Monday morning. “I call that water company and the city and we have complained about it before. They repaired the one across the street about two months ago.”
Jones said that about every two to three months that same place on both sides of the street the workers are digging up on the water line.
“It breaks frequently,” he said. “You can’t tell me if they fix it right it wouldn’t be breaking that often. It is sorry work and I left a message with the water company. It’s frustrating, and they were supposed to replace this water line about 10 years ago. The water lines are too small and are about 30 or more years old.”
Jones said there is no fire hydrant on the street, and the city annexed the area over 10 years ago.
“We are still wondering why they are charging us for water runoff,” he said. “Nobody can give us an answer why they are charging us. Through the years they are always fixing the water line down the street at that same place, repairing the same water line and the workers will tell you that the city tells them to come out and fix it.”
Another resident of Yates Road is James Ralston, who has lived there since 1998. He said the situation is “frustrating.”
“When they annexed us they made all of these promises to us that wasn’t in writing,” he said. “The guys that are trying to fix the line are doing their job. These lines are old west Bell County lines from before the annexation that the city took over and renamed and raised our taxes.”
Ralston said the city just blows them off when they complain about the water lines.
“Ours is three to four inches most,” he said of the size of the water pipe. “It’s is supposed to be six inches minimum and there is no plan to fix it. They are nice about it but nothing gets done which to me is them blowing me off.”
Yates Road, as far as Ralston knows, is not on the list to get fixed.
“There are areas that were annexed later or after us that have gotten fixed,” said Ralston. “The city has the highest ever insurance rating, but we don’t because we don’t have a fire hydrant and water lines that don’t meet code. Our taxes are full blown taxes and they do not give us slack for it.”
City of Killeen spokesperson Hilary Shine said that this area’s water infrastructure was installed and operated by West Bell Water Supply Corporation.
“The area was annexed by the city about 10 years ago,” Shine said by email. “There have been three water line breaks in this area over the past two years. Repairs have been possible each time.”
Willie Mitchell, another resident in the neighborhood said he was lucky enough to take his shower in the morning.
“They turned the water off today at approximately 8 a.m. this morning,” he said Monday. “I got up around 5:30 this morning, but the thing is that they never tell us or the neighborhood when they are turning the water off.”
The city issued a boil-water notice for the Yates Road area at 10 a.m. Monday, after repairs for the broken water line were already underway.
Herald staff writer Steve Wilson contributed to this report.