BIG LAKE, TX – Communities across Texas have lost power and water services due to the inclement weather, but Big Lake residents ran out of water after the city's supply was drained in a matter of hours.
According to Reagan County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Destin Wilha, at 8:28 p.m. he was notified the city was running out of water and 20 minutes later it was all gone. This occurred after residents drained the existing supply to prevent pipes from freezing.
"Everyone has a valid concern that their pipes will burst if they freeze and then they “won’t have any water.” Where’s our water now? There is absolutely NO REASON to open every faucet in your house and definitely not “full blast," said Wilha in a statement. "Folks, we have caused this issue. Big Lake has been extremely lucky. We haven’t been hit with “rolling blackouts” and our water mains didn’t freeze. Instead, we panicked and set our town’s water system to royal flush. We were warned!!! Messages went via text, phone, and Facebook. It’s our responsibility to make ourselves available to that information."
In the post, Wilha provided residents with more information on how the water is stored in the city.
According to Wilha, on the North end of 137 at 12th Street, three tanks store water. Currently one is under maintenance, but the remaining tanks each hold 1 million gallons of water.
On average, the City of Big Lake consumes 1 million gallons of water in 6 days. During a normal hot Spring day of watering yards, residents use an average of 166,000 gallons.
Last night, Oncore shut off the power to the pumps that feed into the city and residents used 1 million gallons in just 24 hours. To refill the tanks, the water district began pumping in water from 10 freshwater well pumps. The city usually only uses 2 pumps to fill the tanks.
In order to fix the unnecessary shortage, officials asked residents to close all faucets. The water was expected to be restored within 12 hours, but according to Wilha, it could take longer as several steps must be completed before the water is ready for public consumption.
"Our water isn’t magic. Please close your faucets. All of our lives depend on it!"