Palestine water fully restored after snow, ice storms down entire system

Pennylynn Webb, Palestine Herald-Press, Texas
·2 min read

Feb. 25—You can now drink the water in Palestine. Water has been restored in the city of Palestine after samples came back clear from NET Health in Tyler.

City water samples were sent out Tuesday, Feb. 23 and were returned back in less than 24 hours Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Public water issues have plagued the city of Palestine and the surrounding area since last weeks snow and ice storms virtually shut down most public and private water supply facilities across the state.

The city has taken all necessary corrective actions to restore adequate pressure, disinfectant levels, and/or bacteriological quality and has provided Texas Commission Environmental Quality with testing results that indicate the water no longer requires boiling as of Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Initially, officials thought the problem was twofold, the gauges that show how much water is stored in the city tanks froze up, making it seem there was more water available than there actually was, and the feeder lines for the chemicals that treat the incoming water, stored inside the treatment plant, also froze.

Once the lines thawed, and the plant was operational, city water crews realized there was a power outage to the system that signals the river to send water to Palestine.

Crews were able to restore emergency power until ONCOR could get the power fully restored.

By Friday, Feb. 19 the water plants were fully operational, however pressure remained low.

Servicing consumer water while trying to get the city water tanks to full capacity remained an issue over the weekend, with the city issuing a Code Red to alert citizens of a need to conserve water.

By Monday, Feb. 22, the water situation was slowly improving. More homes were getting water, but the city administration continued to request that everyone be conservative with water usage due to the need for the water towers to fill in order for pressure to increase. Until then, water pressure will remain low.

That morning, the pressure was increasing to the water towers located at Willow Creek and Sycamore has water and pressure is increasing.

The water tower located at North Jackson was starting to fill, with increasing pressure sending water to the area. And the ground storage at both locations had water.

On Monday, crews found a leak at a water main at Martin Luther King and the Loop.

Theses water challenges and outages hindered many businesses and schools in day to day operations, including restaurants, clinics and the hospital.

Mayor Steve Presley said it has been all hands on deck, with city crews, employees and our police officers out looking for leaks and pitching in wherever they were needed, some even sleeping at the water plant to ensure operations continue to improve.

Presley and city officials thanked residents for their patience and understanding.