(Oct. 22, 2021; 1p.m. Update) – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has arrived in the Killeen area to review water issues presented by the Bell County Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) and advise on the next steps.
The City of Killeen issued a city-wide boil water notice on Oct. 19 through our daily and quarterly testing, which found chlorine residuals below TCEQ guidelines in samples taken from six of nine sites.
This morning, TCEQ brought a four-person team to meet with WCID, as well as the cities of Copperas Cove, Harker Heights and Killeen. WCID provides wholesale water service to the cities of Belton, Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville and the Fort Hood Military Reservation. Yesterday afternoon, WCID began temporarily converting the disinfectant in its water treatment process from chloramines to free chlorine and that conversion will continue through Nov. 21. During this time, customers in all areas may experience taste and odor changes associated with temporary disinfectant conversion.
WCID is partnering with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and local entities to implement a temporary disinfectant conversion to free chlorine to maintain the system and water quality.
Once the free chlorine in the water that is coming from WCID #1’s treatment plants reaches the City’s take points, crews will begin flushing the system 24/7 in order to pull the free chlorine water to the end of our system. The free chlorine water is projected to reach Killeen’s take points by the end of today. As the water is pulled through the system, the free chlorine levels will be tested to track its progress and let the water crew know when the sampling to lift the boil water notice (BWN) can begin. Once these samples are sent to the lab, the 24-hour testing begins. Per State law, the BWN notice cannot be lifted until the lab finds the samples acceptable. The City will continue flushing and testing throughout the weekend, and with the TCEQ’s guidance, is hopeful to provide a better timeline on Monday.
This morning, water crews were flushing a fire hydrant on Clear Creek Road at the Airport Elevated Storage Tank site, which is a one-million-gallon tank that provides storage and pressure for the Airport Pressure Plane. That video is available on our YouTube channel. We also have an interview on that platform with our Director of Public Works, Jeffery Reynolds, following the meeting with TCEQ.
As a reminder, the City of Killeen is offering bottled water for those who do not have the ability to boil their own water. Please contact us at (254) 501-6315 for assistance. There were eight requests on Thursday, Oct. 21.
For questions regarding WCID, please contact Ricky Garrett, General Manager of the Bell County WCID #1.