Water company expects to lift boil water notice ‘soon’ in hard-hit San Augustine community

Water company expects to lift boil water notice ‘soon’ in hard-hit San Augustine community

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - Water lines are repaired, the community for the most part has running water again, and a boil water notice could soon be rescinded for one of the communities hardest hit by a tornado last week in San Augustine.

Storms caused extensive damage to public and private property, disrupted utility service, and endangered the health and safety of the residents of San Augustine County and cities within the disaster area.

“We had so many uprooted trees in this neighborhood that distribution lines were torn up,” said Charles Sharp, system manager of San Augustine Rural Water. “As far as I know, right now, we have all those distribution interruptions corrected.”

Sharp said his company had to repair and replace several lines in the process, and extensive damage was repaired at the water plant itself. It took several hours for crews with the U.S. Forestry Service to get to a water plant in the area just so maintenance crews could repair the plant.

“The water plant is holding volume, which tells us we don’t have any major leaks,” Sharp explained. “It’s holding pressure, and everyone who was affected by this water plant being down has water.”

Sharp said the last step in the process was to get the water quality tested to ensure a boil water notice could be safely rescinded.

“We’ve been in contact with [Texas Commission of Environmental Quality], and we’ve agreed we want the water plant to operate for 24 hours without any glitches. We’ve had some eletrical things going on in the plant, and if we can operate 24 hours without a glitch, then we’ll take some samples to the labratory in Lufkin to have them tested.”

From the moment the water is received by the TCEQ, Sharp explained it would take another 24 hours to get the results to rescind the boil water notice. The best estimate Sharp could offer when all of this might happen was “soon.”

“I’ve been really pleased that it’s come together as fast as it has,” Sharp said. “Everybody has worked together and pulled together, and we just really appreciate our neighbors and friends and everyone that’s pitched in to help.”

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