Melrose Water cleaning up its act

MELROSE, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email

MELROSE, Texas (KTRE) - In the last month, Melrose Water Supply has issued three boil-water notices. A customer broke one line. The other two were the more common breaks seen in aging pipes.

The oldest line on the system goes right through the middle of Chireno. It serves downtown businesses as well as the school. When there's a break that isn't easy to fix, it means the school has to be shut down.

"What you're dealing with are basically, they're some of the oldest lines in the system," said Jeff Holliman, assistant manager of Melrose Water Supply.

Today, Holliman has the good fortune of faxing notices to rescind the most recent boil-water orders.

"Just because a line breaks down doesn't necessarily mean your water has gotten contaminated because we do keep chlorine residuals in the water," Holliman said. "We sample residuals everyday."

A state regulation not always followed, Melrose Water Supply got into serious trouble with state water inspectors earlier this year.

"We ended up paying probably a little over $16,000," Holliman said.

Just half of the original fines issued during the reign of former director Carl Dyes. For decades, Melrose had a contract with Dyes' company, East Texas Water Services.

"Yes, he retired," Holliman said. "I think, you know, it was probably time for him to retire truthfully."

Right now the water board is wanting to purchase a building next door from Dyes for a new office. Also on the drawing board is the replacement of old water lines, beginning with the ones through Chireno.

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