Odessa, TX – After spending the week braving triple-digit heat without potable water, Ector County Utilities District and City of Odessa officials gathered water samples to be tested on Friday. Those results have come back and the Water Boil Notice has been rescinded for Ector County and Odessa residents.
The City of Odessa officials met at City Hall this afternoon to officially announce the notice had been lifted. Test results came back satisfactory with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). “The City of Odessa Public Water System TX0680002 has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling.
The city water system’s 165,000 customers lost pressure after a 24-inch main broke on Tuesday. A failed valve system prevented officials from simply isolating the waterline break, which lead to the citywide shutdown. Water levels reached a point that a Boil Water Notice had to be issued. Significant loss in water pressure and/or no water at all has plagued the city for the past three days as repairs were made.
Once the system was restored to capacity, the 24-hour clock began to test the water to make sure it is safe and there is no bacteria present. The ECUD started their tests on Friday morning. The City of Odessa was slightly behind as they were waiting for more chlorine to circulate into all areas of the system before beginning their battery of tests.
At 1:45 pm on June 17, Odessa officials pulled the samples required by the TCEQ to rescind the Boil Water Notice. The City of Odessa had to also wait on the lab results to show that the distribution system had been thoroughly flushed and minimum levels of chlorine residual had been maintained throughout the distribution system. The goal was to maintain acceptable chlorine levels as well no bacteria so residents could use water as they normally had.
This afternoon’s announcement formally lifts the boil notice and confirms all water services have been restored to normal for Odessa and Ector County residents.
*In a non-scientific poll conducted by Basin Report at H-E-B on Friday, we found one-out-of-four Odessans had already returned to using their water regularly or had never stopped.