by Zora Asberry
BIG SPRING - Two West Texas towns are having to boil their water in Big Spring and Coahoma after a public service announcement was made early Tuesday morning to notify residents of a boil water notice. The notice went out after a mechanical error occurred at the Big Spring Water Treatment plant. NewsWest 9 spoke to the Public Works Department for the City of Big Spring to find out what is being done to fix the problem and when residents can expect to have safe drinking water.
Johnny Womack, Public Works Director for the City of Big Spring, said, "The alum pump quit and so our turbidities, which is the cloudiness of the water, got way too high. We actually shut down the plant, shut all the water going out into the city, shut it down and we flushed the plant as much as we could."
Officials say the water is safe to take baths in, but for consumption, it is advised to boil the water for at least two minutes then allow it to cool. As far as fixing the problem, the public works department says that things are under control.
"We're working internally in some different controls to eliminate any mistakes like that in the future but it's one of those things where it was a mechanical failure and the operator didn't catch it in time," Womack said.
For those who prefer not to boil water, they can buy purified water locally at a business called Culligan in Big Spring that specializes in water purification.
Richard Wright, the Owner of Culligan, said, "We've had a lot more activity because of the boil notice. Our company has reverse osmosis, water softeners, water conditioners and we can purify the water in your homes and take care of it for you if you have this problem. We take care of it for you, that's what we do."
The Public Works Department says the water definitely won't be consumable by Tuesday night but they hope to have better results by Wednesday evening.
"It's a 24 hour test, if we pull the samples today (Tuesday) through the lab, then we'll have the results from today's (Tuesday's) test late tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. So once all 30 tests come back with good results, at that time, we can lift the ban," Womack said.