by Victor Lopez
ODESSA--The number of damaged lines is higher than originally reported, but that means crews have been working that much harder to get a handle on the situation.
After talking with city officials on Wednesday, NewsWest 9 reported over 30 busted water lines and less than half of them repaired.
NewsWest 9 got an update on Friday morning from Andrea Goodson, the city's Public Information Coordinator, and found out the total number of breaks was actually 52 but the number of repairs has also gone up.
"The reality is, our crews are facing a unique challenge," Assistant City Manager, Michael Marrero, said.
The challenge for city utility crews has been going on for a seven days now, restoring some semblance of order and ending residents' continuing water nightmares. City officials addressed that very thing earlier this week.
According to Marrero, "We currently have three crews working on these line breaks. The crews that are working on these line breaks are doing just, specifically that. We don't necessarily have a time frame but we hope to address and have these problems solved as quickly as we can."
Through diligence and hard work, as of this Thursday morning, 32 busted lines had been repaired, leaving 20 still to go. That is, provided no more new breaks are reported.
"We're not aware of any homeowners being out of water due to a break for that extended period of time. Let us know. If we don't know there's a problem, we don't know to go out and fix it, number one," Goodson said.
Given the age of the lines and the materials they're made of, they just couldn't handle the drastic change in temperatures. Right now, replacing them isn't an option. Crews are doing their best to repair them, even under normal conditions.
"Under the city's Capital Improvement Plan, a lot of these pipes were scheduled to be replaced, as it is. Just because they're busting, we're not able to replace them right now. We're having to repair the existing pipe, then go on as scheduled to replace them," Goodson said.
With employees working overtime, seven days a week and having to repair so much damage, you would think this is surely taking a big bite out of the city's wallet.
"There will be an impact to the budget, but we're pretty confident that we have to funds to cover those repairs," Marrero said.
And there's more good news. Residents don't have to worry about seeing a rate increase to make up for it either.
"No, none at this time," Marrero added.