Busted Water Lines in Odessa Keeping Crews Scrambling to Keep Up

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA--More than 30 water breaks have been reported but less than half have been fixed.

Officials tell NewsWest 9, their crews are working overtime, seven days a week, to get the problems fixed as soon as possible. Their biggest concern right now, to get the ruptures repaired without inconveniencing residents any more than they already have been.

"Our staff has worked pretty well consistently, since Thursday, to try and address the problems," Asst. City Manager, Michael Marrero, said.

Utility crews certainly have their work cut out for them, fighting against time and mother nature, to get water flowing to residents all across the city.

According to Public Information Coordinator Andrea Goodson, "They're kind of scattered throughout. We've had some downtown, on the east side, the west side, the north side, it's really scattered throughout the city."

"We've prioritized the breaks and are working on the ones that are more significant and impact the most people, right now, and then we'll work on the smaller ones as we get to them," Marrero said.

Three separate crews have been working from sun up to sun down to get the leaks repaired.

"Each crew is assigned a specific area in which to work. Again, we've prioritized those breaks and the top priorities are given to each of those crews," Marrero explained.

When you combine extreme fluctuating temperatures and aging water lines, the end result isn't good.

"The older pipes that were installed, the cast iron or the concrete pipes, they just simply contract more, under these extreme temperatures and so there's going to be a break," Goodson said.

City officials say they've been getting call after call from people who say they're out of water. Goodson says, if that's the case, it's not because of breaks in the city water lines, "Crews do have to shut off water to do a repair. It is a possibility that citizens are going to run out of water, while crews repair that break. And there's a possibility that it could be on the home owner's side of the meter."

If your not sure it's your problem, the city can help you figure it out. And if it is a problem on the city's side, they'll fix that too.

According to Goodson, "If we are aware of an area where property owners are out of water, due to a break, that break goes to the top of the list and it gets repaired first. The city doesn't want anybody to be without water due to a break."

City officials want to emphasize, if for any reason you don't have water in your home, you need to report it to them. That way, a crew can go and determine if it's a problem on the city side of the line or yours.

Also remember, as the temperatures start to drop, intersections in the affected areas with standing water are going to freeze over making for dangerous driving conditions.  So be careful when you hit the streets.