SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - June has been a challenging month for the San Augustine Water Department.
Two isolated breaks and a fire happened. The problems are corrected, but events illustrate why current efforts to replace old equipment is so important.
Just the sound of lift equipment taking workers high enough to install a new cover for the San Augustine Water System pleases water superintendent Chris Anding.
"This protects all of this from the weather. And also, it's going to help with the treatment process with temperature control," Anding said.
It's something new to anticipate for Anding and Mayor Leroy Hughes after a trying month.
First a water line broke due to age. Within days another broke when hit by a fiber optics crew. At the very same time, an electrical fire broke out at the water plant.
"All this right here is what burned up. This was fuse box panel," Anding said. "This was built, this part of it, they quit making it in 1961."
"It shut down all the generators, everything and we could not send water to town," said San Augustine Mayor Leroy Hughes.
However, crews manually pumped water supplies to customers until repairs were completed. It's the sort of thing a city has to do when dealing with an aging infrastructure.
"Most of our lines are very, very old and they're dilapidated," Hughes said. "They just need replacing. I can't give you a timeline on it because it all deals with money."
Fortunately, this ground storage tank built in 1956 will be replaced this year. Right now, it's too dangerous to repair.
"The rafters in the tank are rusted and fell off, and if we put anybody inside, it's a safety hazard," Anding said.
The installation of two 300,000 gallon tanks will begin next month providing a larger holding capacity of water from San Augustine Lake.
San Augustine is utilizing state and federal grants for needed replacements and repairs.
Application is currently in for a $7 million USDA grant to redo the sewer plant and system.