Low chorine levels in the city's water supply have forced Killeen to issue a city-wide boil water notice that looks to be sticking around for the time being.
The city of Killeen was doing their routine testing of water around the city Tuesday and found a very alarming result, the percentage of chlorine in the water supply was much lower than it should have been.
Now the entire city of Killeen is under a boil water notice.
”We tested about nine locations and about six of them came back lower than the .5 that we’re required to have. So, with that being said and it being throughout the system, we thought it would be best to go out and be safe than sorry,” said Jeffery Reynolds, executive director of public work for the City of Killeen.
The city is not sure when the boil water notice will be lifted due to one fact, a city-wide drop in chlorine levels is a completely new problem for them.
”We’ve never seen this before," said Reynolds. "I’ve been with the city for seven years. My water and sewer director has been here for 14 years and we’ve never seen this issue before. That’s one of the reasons we test the water every day, to make sure that we are providing quality water.”
While the city works to find the cause of the low chlorine levels, residents are being told to boil their water and that is an issue already affecting local restaurants like Jimmy’s Egg in Killeen.
”Customers can’t have water of course. Our ice needs to be recycled. Our coffee machines, we can shut them down and we can use the boiled water to brew the coffee. Um, no ice teas and no sodas,” said Carrie Ulwelling, Manager of Jimmy’s Egg in Killeen.
Jimmy’s Egg wasn’t aware of the boiled water notice until customers pointed it out.
The news came as a shock to them, even resulting in some customers leaving.
”The other customer said, you can’t be drinking that. So even those customers didn’t know about it. Then they were like 'oh, okay' and they actually got up and left,” said Ulwelling.
Knowing that everyone in Killeen is being affected, the City said they are working as fast as they can but, safety over speed is the approach they are taking.
”What we are trying to do is isolate the situation. If we can get it to where we can open portions of the city, we’ll do that. But we’re not going to do that until we’re absolutely confident that we can do that in a safe manner,” said Reynolds.
The city is asking for patience as the root out and fix the cause of the low chlorine levels and they said will work to better communicate notices to businesses like Jimmy’s Egg moving forward.