Killeen Water and Sewer crews worked through weekend with TCEQ assisting water conversion process
KILLEEN, Texas (Oct. 25, 2021; 11:30a.m. Update) – The Bell County Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) has shifted its water chlorine conversion focus from the City of Killeen’s five elevated storage tanks (ESTs), to points further out in the distribution system. Flushing and sampling at this site will continue today amid a boil water notice (BWN) that was issued by the City of Killeen on Oct. 19.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has been working with WCID, the City of Killeen and surrounding cities throughout the weekend on a chlorine conversion in the WCID water system and TCEQ is still on site offering assistance with the process. The City’s crews worked 24/7 this past weekend and we are awaiting TCEQ guidance on how to proceed. TCEQ had hoped to provide a better timeline by the end of today, although the four-person team does not have all information needed yet, so the City is on standby. This is an intricate system and process, therefore the team wants to have all data before releasing targeted dates and times.
WCID is implementing a temporary disinfectant conversion from chloramines (chlorine and ammonia) to free chlorine to maintain the system and water quality—a process they say will continue through Nov. 21. During this time, customers in all areas may experience taste and odor changes associated with temporary disinfectant conversion.
The City of Killeen issued the city-wide BWN after our daily and quarterly testing found chlorine residuals below TCEQ guidelines in certain samples. Monthly testing also occurs regularly. Once the recent samples are sent to a lab, the 24-hour testing will begin. Per State law, the BWN notice cannot be lifted until the lab finds the samples acceptable.
The water system issues are not isolated to the City of Killeen, as WCID provides wholesale water service to the cities of Belton, Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights, Nolanville and the Fort Hood Military Reservation.
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. Please know all ten digits must be dialed. The Killeen Fire Department has fulfilled all verified requests for bottled water, delivering more than 30 cases to residents, as well as a Water Buffalo with potable water to the Killeen Animal Shelter for pets.
For general federal guidelines on how citizens should handle boil water advisories, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s site: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/drinking-water-advisories/boil-water-advisory.html
For questions regarding WCID, please contact Ricky Garrett, General Manager of the Bell County WCID #1.
As we enter into the sixth day of the boil water notice, please be reminded that the health and safety of our citizens is always a priority.
A video interview with updates from the Department of Public Works will be available this afternoon on our City of Killeen YouTube channel and social media platforms for citizens to view and from which media can pull content.