Fault Line Found in Fort Stockton Could Threaten City's Water

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON - A city councilman makes a shocking discovery in Fort Stockton and what he found could threaten the city's main water source.

What looks like a crack in the earth could turn out to be a big problem in Fort Stockton. City Councilman-at-Large Billy Jackson works for wildlife services.  He was surveying some hog damage when he found a line.

"Just a continuous crack," Jackson said. "I actually walked for about two miles following it."

What Jackson stumbled upon turned out to be a fault line southwest of town.

"First thoughts were maybe an earthquake or something of that sort," Jackson said.

The U.S. Geological Survey came to Fort Stockton to look at the fault line.

"They don't have any determination as to what caused it as of yet," Jackson said.

The fault line stretches for a few miles. It makes a circular pattern in one area but continues spreading and that has city and county officials worried.

"I hope it doesn't get any bigger and doesn't separate our water line, that's my main concern right now," Jackson said.

The fault line crosses the city's water line. Officials are concerned it could cause damage to their main source for water.

The line also runs across a set of railroad tracks and Belding Road.

"My worry is that somebody will fall in a hole when they're coming or going," Jackson said.

It already happened once, just a few days ago.

Paul Weatherby with the Middle Pecos Ground Water District said so far, monitor wells in the area look fine.

"We're looking at seeing if we need to do further studies on this to see what impact it will have on it," Weatherby said.

U.S.G.S. has offered to come back and help with that but it's pricey.

"They would be able to determine how deep that the transition is happening, if it's temporary or it may be permanent or an ongoing problem," Weatherby said.

So until then, how this fault line formed remains a mystery.