‘A problem 30 years in the making’: City of Zavalla’s water system has unique issues

‘A problem 30 years in the making’: City of Zavalla’s water system has unique issues
Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 7:23 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) -The water woes in Zavalla seem to be over for now, but will it happen again?

The City of Zavalla sits in between a 30-mile dry patch between the Carrizo-Wilcox and the Gulf Coast aquifers.

General Manager for The Angelina and Neches River Authority Kelly Holcomb says an aquifer is an undergrown water pathway.

“But this underground pathway conveys water underground, water hits the surface, filters through the many layers of dirt and sand and ultimately hits this underground water way,” Holcomb said.

Because the city is in this dry patch it’s hard for them to find water, and so the GUI water system was placed. This system is shallow ground water well. GUI Stands for ground water under the influence, meaning the system is under the influence of service water in some form.

“It’s not a well, it’s a series of shallow wells, 20 wells to be exact, that pump into one tank, so it’s a well field and they refer to it as the GUI well,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb says he believes the GUI was the cities’ only option at the time to get water to its residents. He says this type of system is rare.

“In my personal opinion, I’m not shocked there are only six people in the state of Texas that have the licensing required to operate this type of system because it’s so unique,” Holcomb said.

Holcomb says since this is a ground water well, the drought we faced was one of the many causes of the cities’ water issues. He believes the GUI was supposed to only be a temporary fix to the cities’ water issues. Hes worried that now that the water is back on, the GUI system issues won’t be on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“The catastrophe is gone, it tends to be pushed to the back of one’s mind and we go into the wintertime where it’s a little wetter, every things good. Well, temporarily its good.”

The city recently had on and off water for 10 days.