Boil water notice lifted after city says 38 water quality tests conducted and sent to TCEQ
After eight days without drinkable water, the boil water notice in the city of Beaumont has been lifted by the state's environmental agency as of Saturday at 1:11 p.m.
The city's main water pumping station on Pine Street was breached some time before 4 a.m. on Aug 31 because of massive flooding in Southeast Texas from Hurricane Harvey.
City staff worked with private companies to access the water pump, which was flooded, from its top. This allowed Beaumont to run water, but the city could not certify it as drinkable until Saturday afternoon, when the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rescinded a notice for Beaumont's water consumers to boil it prior to consumption.
The uncertainty surrounding the city's water quality delayed the start of Beaumont Independent School District classes. The district had considered opening Monday, Sept. 11, but pushed the start date back to Wednesday, Sept. 13, due to the water situation and more than 100 BISD employees displaced from their homes because of Harvey.
Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames called it a "miraculous effort" to restore water service to Beaumont within about a week.
City Manager Kyle Hayes said it's back to "business as usual" with water running normally again.
The city conducted 38 water quality tests over the last two days for submission to the TCEQ, Hayes said.
"We were able to (get water back) pretty quickly so at least our citizens could flush their toilets and take a shower," Hayes said. "But having to bring in water from a different source was very difficult and our staff and those private companies did an unbelievable job. So we're very pleased to be where we are today.
"Bringing in another source of water, you have to have a certain pressure throughout the entire system - in the 80 square miles in the city of Beaumont."
About 2,000 homes flooded in Beaumont and far more were displaced in the surrounding cities.
With the state's approval of Beaumont's water potability, the city no longer plans to distribute bottled water, Hayes said.
The city had set up distribution sites at its three high schools this past week and consolidated down to Central High School on Saturday with decreased participation.
Several other private groups also set up water distribution sites into the weekend.
"A lot of people are suffering and we recognize that," Hayes said. "So we have a lot of work to do in this city and in Southeast Texas and we're going to continue working together."
Now that the boil water notice has been lifted below are tips from city officials on flushing your faucets:
1. First flush hot water faucets for fifteen minutes, and cold water faucets for five minutes or until it feels cold.
2. Flush your refrigerator filter for a least a quart of water, or change the filter.
3. Ice cubes from refrigerators: automatic ice dispensers should be emptied of ice made during the boil order and run through a 24-hour cycle, discarding the ice to assure purging of the icemaker water supply line.
4. Run your dishwasher empty for a full cycle.
5. Humidifiers: Discard any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral, medical or health care devices, and rinse the device with clean water.
6. Clean, then flush every toilet with a quick flush
7. Change All Water Filters Currently In Use
8. Clean & Sanitize All Pet Bowls