KEMP - Residents and business owners in the town of Kemp went nearly 48 hours without running water, but relief came early Tuesday morning for the Kaufman County town.
The city has repaired the broken water lines and water levels are nearly back to normal in area water towers.
However, Mayor Donald Kile says the seventy-plus-year-old pipeline system remains fragile. There were two more minor water-main breaks reported Tuesday, making a total of 16 breaks in the last two-and-a-half weeks for the town's water system.
Kile is urging Kemp residents to use their water only for basic necessities like drinking, bathing and dish washing. He said heavy demand along with extremely dry soil conditions continue to put pressure on the pipes and could cause a major break that would force the city to shut down the water supply again.
Brenda Lewis, a mother of four, couldn't have been happier to see the water flowing from her faucet when she gave it a try at seven this morning. The pressure is not up to full capacity yet, but after two days of going without, she said anything at all is a welcome sight.
She said she was most excited to shower, but also had dishes to clean and laundry to take care of -- and no idea if the water would stay on for the duration.
I've got a laundry load going right now and I'm just trying to hurry up and get that done before maybe the water gets shut off again, because you don't know, Lewis said.
Kile said the city's community water station will remain open for at least the next 24 hours as a precaution, until everyone has water restored and it reaches full pressure. He encouraged those in town who have livestock that need to be watered down to load up at the water station.
The shutdown began late Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. when the mayor determined the water supply could not meet the demand due to breaks draining the system.
During a news conference this morning, Kile also reinforced the importance of water restrictions, saying those caught violating them will be fined. That includes outdoor watering of any kind.