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'Water supply is barely meeting demand': City of Waco asking residents to cut water use this week

Posted at 9:10 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 19:29:27-05

WACO, TX — The City of Waco is urging residents to conserve water this week due to limited water supply following winter weather and related energy outages.

The City of Waco issued a press release Tuesday night following rumors circulating that water would be shut off. The City said this rumor is not true.

"These rumors are making the situation worse because they create fear and encourage citizens to use more water at a time when production supply is limited," said Larry Holze, the City of Waco's Public Information Officer.

According to the press release, due to the extreme cold and related electricity outages, one of Waco's two water treatment plants is not operating. Holze says this means the city can only produce about 25% of its full water treatment capacity.

"The City is taking every step possible to address this problem. However, to ensure there is water for everyone, the public’s help is needed," Holze said.

Residents are asked to follow these steps for the next 48 hours:

  1. In lieu of a bath or shower, consider a sponge bath or basin bath.
  2. Do not use washing machine for laundry or automated dish washer (hand wash only using limited water).
  3. Do not drip all faucets in your home. To prevent lines from freezing, drip the faucet that is farthest from your meter, particularly lines located on an outside wall.
  4. Do not store or hoard water by filling bathtubs or other large containers. If everyone does this, water pressure will fall resulting in the following consequences:
    1. Mandatory boil water notices will be required (at a time when many citizens have no electricity with which to boil water)
    2. Water for firefighting purposes will be threatened or, worse, unavailable.
  5. Each day fill enough containers to provide (a) each person in your home 1 gallon of water per 24 hours, and (b) an additional gallon per day for cooking use.

"The water supply is barely meeting demand now. Mandatory boil water notices may be needed if pressures continue to fall," Holze continued.

Businesses and industrial customers have been asked to curtail water usage.

The City also requests the public’s help in identifying any water main breaks or leaks. Leaks and water main breaks can be reported by calling 254-299-2489.