Crack in Water Line Causes Local State of Disaster in Fort Stockton

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON - A serious situation is unfolding in Fort Stockton. The city's only waterline cracked prompting a state of emergency. The Mayor declared a local state of disaster after the seal that holds the pipes together burst. 

City leaders may even have to call in state-wide resources to help fix the broken line. They'll will be working throughout the night trying to replace their only waterline into the city. As of Wednesday night, no one is without water, but their supply will run out Thursday at noon. By that time, Fort Stockton engineers hope to have it repaired.

"Right now, we are at stage 5 shortage, which is our highest level," Fort Stockton Mayor, Ruben Falcon, said.

A ten foot crack in their only water line brought in local, state and federal officials and created an all-day messy repair job for engineers. For people living in Fort Stockton, it's an emergency conservation meaning no laundry, no car washes, and no watering the lawn.

"We will not be completely without water," Mayor Falcon said. "The problem is, we'll only have about a trickle which will be for bathing and rest rooming."

This line runs from their water wells into a five million gallon storage tank. They say on a hot day, the city uses more water and that supply could drain by Thursday at noon but the crews spent the afternoon installing a brace that will give them the time needed to make repairs, a process that will extend for the next ten to twelve hours.

"If we get the repairs made overnight, we'll be back in business tomorrow," Fort Stockton City Engineer, Raul Rodriguez, said. "Our tanks will be empty, but we'll be producing water. Our plant can keep up with the city demands, no problem. If something doesn't go right and we need to order a part or we don't have something on hand and we've added one or two days to the repairs - we only have one days worth of storage."

The city manager told NewsWest 9, the pipes were installed in the 1960's and that crack is due to years of wear and tear.

"Everybody knows this is our only water line, so if something happens, it's a race against the clock," Rodriguez said. "It's always been that way, everyone knows it, so as soon as something happens, everyone responds."