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'Our water supply is critically low': Waco mayor warns leaks, high water usage could threaten fire department

"We are pumping twice our normal daily usage," Mayor Dillon Meek said.

WACO, Texas — In Waco Mayor Dillon Meek's latest video update Thursday, he left Wacoans with a grim message: "our water supply is critically low."

"We are currently pumping all we can but the main problems we’re facing right now are leaks and high usage," he said. "We are pumping twice our normal daily usage and the system’s storage is sitting at a critically lose capacity."

Though Meek doesn't expect water shutting off throughout the entire city, he said Waco could experience a boil water notice if conditions and high demand remain.

Even worse, he said if things continue, some communities might not have water at all -- including the fire department.

"If system conditions worsen further, the fire department could not have adequate water pressure for firefighting," he said. "Our city staff has developed and continues to develop alternative methods of fire protection, but water is the critical resource to protect property in the event of a fire."

Here's what you can do to help conserve water and reduce demand:

Residents:

  • If you have heat, open cabinets under sinks so heat can reach the pipes
  • Do not run washing machines or dishwashers for the next 48 hours
  • Stop dripping faucets if weather is above 32 degrees
  • Check plumbing for leaks
  • Turn off the water valve if you have a leak. If you're unable to, call 254-299-2489 for help
  • Report lower water pressure to the number above

Businesses, Commercial and Industrial Users:

  • Get to your facility safely or check surveillance video and see if there are any leaks
  • If there is a leak, turn off your water supply. If you're unable to, call 254-299-2489 for help
  • Keep laundromats and car washes closed through the weekend
  • Businesses cut water consumption by 50 percent
  • Restaurants should use paper plates and other disposable items rather than wash dishes

Additionally, the city is working on repairs as fast as they can and ask residents to anticipate water being temporarily cut off as they repair different areas.

"Our repairs are being prioritized in a way to maintain our water system; we apologize for any delay and are working around the clock to restore water everywhere," he said.

For residents who lose water, city staff is also working to get them bottled water, he said. These will be distributed based on customers who already lost drinking water, he said.

If you see a water leak, call the Water Call Center at 254-299-2489. If you see unexpected running water in drainage areas, creeks, or streets, please contact 254-299-2489.

Watch Meek's message below, as well as the Spanish version below.