Friday afternoon a welder arrived at the water tank in the heart of the Horseshoe Bend community to patch a days-old leak that frustrated Parker County residents who said it was just another problem for a water system they’ve learned not to trust.
Texas Rain Holding Company runs the water system. They haven’t answered WFAA calls. But, speaking for them, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says it is monitoring repairs after the outage was first reported to them on Wednesday of this week. Residents tell WFAA their tap water didn’t return until Thursday afternoon, albeit at low pressure.
TCEQ confirmed the water did return at low pressure, that a boil order would remain in effect, and that the patch to keep the tank from leaking should be finished soon.
Meanwhile, residents like Candace Gibbons who has lived in Horseshoe Bend for two years, say water outages and water quality concerns are a normal part of life in the community along the Brazos River. She and her husband store a half dozen five-gallon jugs of bottled water on their porch as their preferred drinking water source even when the tap water is in service.
“Yes,” she told us. “Because it’s not drinkable.”
The water company brought in free bottled water during the outage and staged it at the convenience store at the entrance to the community. But even when the water system is working properly, residents say its water they’ve never trusted enough to drink, and still won’t.
“You can’t drink it,” said Angela Feltner. “I’ve lived out here 25 years, and I’ve never drunk the water out here,” she said claiming most residents only use the water to wash dishes and clothes and to shower and to flush their toilets.
“No I don’t drink it,” said long-time resident Bill Ellis. “Hell, it’s contaminated. Well, some do [drink it.] Our dogs and cats and horses and cows drink it.”
Around 2 o’clock Friday afternoon, a welder did arrive as promised and started patching the tank. The plan was to place a metal patch at the leak at the bottom of the tank at the seam on the southwest side. The water company then planned to bring in big-rig water tanks to re-fill it and bring the well-water system back online at full pressure.
The irony here is that Horseshoe Bend is named after the Horseshoe shape of the Brazos River. This community is literally surrounded by water. But with water pressure is low, and frustrations high, even when the system is repaired, it’s not necessarily water people here choose to trust.
“And so we’re just fed up with it,” said Gibbons.