Laguna Madre area boil water notice continues

PORT ISABEL — The winter storms that swept through the Valley this week have created many challenges for households and organizations.

Residents and visitors of the Laguna Madre area still need to boil their water prior to consumption, officials said Friday.

The Laguna Madre Water District (LMWD) will conduct bacteriological sampling on Monday and expects to receive results within 24 hours on Tuesday.

Due to power outages and waterline breaks caused by freezing temperatures in the area, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the LMWD to issue a water boil notice on Tuesday.

According to a LMWD press release, children, seniors and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and microbes, LMWD customers are asked to boil their water before using it to conduct tasks, such as washing their hands and face, brushing their teeth and drinking.

The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil, boiled for two minutes and then cooled prior to use.

According to the press release, LMWD customers will be notified when the boil water notice is rescinded.

Throughout the week, the harsh weather conditions continued to create problems for the water district’s infrastructure.

The power outage burnt the water district’s main control panel power surge protector, module communications instruments used for microfiltration at water plant two and wires and connectors on two modules.

On Thursday, the water district’s electricity was restored at its main office and burnt infrastructure began to be replaced and repaired.

Friday morning, the LMWD repaired an emergency main waterline break that caused a district-wide outage that affected all of its customers.

According to a LMWD’s press release, future protection will start with the purchase of new communications equipment and working with staff and management to brainstorm on how to protect the district from further issues.

Additionally, the LMWD plans to keep more spare parts on hand for emergencies, as well as continue to enhance operations and focus on maintaining adequate pressures.

LMWD officials stated that they are thankful for voters for approving its tax bond this past November.

According to the press release, the tax bond’s planned improvements will allow the water district to improve the water treatment capacity through the restoration of water treatment plant two, which includes new ground storage and elevated storage tanks.

“Water distribution upgrades are included in the authorization as well,” the press release states. “Projects will increase reliability and water quality to be better prepared for emergency conditions like the hard freeze we are experiencing this week.”

For more information, visit www.lmwd.org or call (956) 943-2626.

ahernandez@valleystar.com