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The original item was published from 1/7/2023 4:58:41 AM to 1/7/2023 9:36:55 AM.

News Flash

City of Midland News Release

Posted on: January 7, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Boil Water Notice Lifted

Boil Water Notice  Lifted

The boil water notice that has been in effect since January 5, 2023, has now been lifted.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality confirmed City of Midland customers no longer need to boil water before drinking, cooking and making ice.

The next steps are:

  • Household faucets and pipes: Flush your plumbing and pipes. To flush your plumbing, run water through all of your cold-water faucets for at least 5 minutes. If your service connection is long or complex (such as in an apartment building) consider flushing for a longer period. Your property manager or landlord should be able to advise you on longer flushing times.
  • Automatic ice makers: Dump existing ice and flush the water feed lines by making and discarding three batches of ice cubes. Wipe down the ice bin with a disinfectant. If your water feed line to the machine is longer than 20 feet, increase to five batches.
  • Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System: Drain your RO storage tank, sanitize the system, and replace the reverse osmosis filters. The filters are disposable and may be contaminated. This especially applies to carbon filters and others that are near the end of their life. 
  • Hot Water Heater: Run enough water to completely replace at least one tank full of water
  • Water coolers, in line filters, and other appliances with direct water connections: replace water cooler filters and sanitize the system.
  • Water softeners: Flush your water softening system by initiation the regeneration cycle. 

 What happened:

 From the Utilities Director of the City of Midland,

The City of Midland has been in the unfortunate situation of requiring a boil water notice for the customers of the City of Midland's Utilities Department. The notice cumulated from several factors that led to this unfortunate situation. First and foremost, the entire staff of the Utilities Department strives 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide water that is safe to use and consume, drains that work, and toilets that flush. The incident started on Tuesday afternoon when a 30" water main was damaged during construction causing the main to rupture. Given the size and type of pipe along with the magnitude of damage it required specialized repair assistance from outside of the City. The damage resulted in the loss of approximately 6.5 million gallons of water. Crews swiftly shut the main line down. The loss put the City system in a water deficit, but not to levels that pressures were below fire standards. Employees at the water treatment plant worked through the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday to get the system recharged with treated water. Unknown to our plant operators, while working on this issue, the automatic level indicator for the reservoir suffered a mechanical error. The reservoir was drawn past its low intake point, allowing the pipe intake to pull in water mixed with a large amount of lake debris that settled at the bottom of the reservoir. The operators were focused on water levels in the tanks and distribution system and did not notice that dirty water had entered the treatment process and overloaded to the point where a plant shutdown was necessary. The result was a loss of flow into the City distribution system and caused two treatment technique violations (see attached). Previously, when the plant needed to be shut down, the City could increase the water flow from our T-Bar well field. However, due to where the line was damaged on Tuesday the City was not able to access T-Bar as a backup water source. Early Thursday, emergency contractors arrived to work on the ruptured 30” main while City employees worked to find solutions to get the plant back operational. Both projects took longer than anticipated. Unfortunately, water levels lowered to the point where a part of the City was without water or had very low water pressure causing a boil water notice. Staff continued working on the two-prong problem for the next 30 hours and succeeded in getting the plant back to state standards, the 30" main into operation, and the T-Bar source was able to provide water to the City. The boil water notice was issued January 5, 2023, at 2:00 pm and lifted January 7, 2023 at 2:00 a.m.

 We are proud of how hard our staff, emergency suppliers, contractors, and our community came together for these 36 hours to get the boil water notice rescinded by the state.  

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