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City of Killeen hopes for an end to weeklong boil water notice

Posted at 10:06 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 23:06:25-04

The City of Killeen has been under a boil water notice for a week now, affecting homes and businesses like this convenience store. But hopefully, in the coming days, that will change.

Low chlorine levels in the city’s water supply forced Killeen to issue a city-wide boil water notice last Tuesday.

Now samples were taken from the northeastern portion of the city have shown safe chlorine levels but still have to be reviewed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality before the boil water notice can be lifted.

”Once we sent the samples in, we drive them to Waco, it usually takes a 24-hour turnaround to get the okay from TCEQ. Once we get that okay, we’re able to lift that boil water notice,” said Jose Segarra, Mayor of Killeen.

In the meantime, businesses like Mickey’s gas station on stagecoach road in Killeen are left disappointing their customers.

"They can’t get their water, their ice, they can’t get their sodas or drinks. So, they really be upset. They leave our chicken sitting there and they just go on out the door. We lose business,” said Michelle Mcknight, assistant manager of Mickey’s Convenience Store #14.

The lack of access to water is not only costing the store money, but it is also forcing customers to spend extra just to have a smaller drink with their lunch now that fountain drinks aren't available.

"Me, I like that because it’s $1.39. See you’re over 32 ounces to 44 ounces compared to 12 to 16 ounces from $1.98 to $2.69. That’s a big difference in the price. That’s very frustrating,” said Markquis Lee, a Loyal Mickey’s customer.

While some customers understand the situation, others simply do not, leaving employees having to contend with angry outbursts.

"I was like sir, we can’t serve the soda machine because of the water, and he just exploded. He just exploded. So, I just, I'm sorry. You know, I apologize as much as possible,” said Mcknight.

As parts of the city start to see normal chlorine levels again ... they should also start seeing their boil water notices being lifted.

”We’re optimistic on that and hopefully by tomorrow at this time, we’ll have the okay and we’ll have some parts of the city at least, with the boil water notice lifted,” said Mayor Segarra.

The water flows from north to south in Killeen and that is the same direction that you should start seeing those boil water notices being lifted with people in North Killeen seeing boil water notices lifted as early as Wednesday afternoon.

But, people in South Killeen could see several days before they are notified that the water is safe to drink.