Water district to install new water pump this week

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Ben Bolt residents will have to continue boiling their water for drinking and cooking through Friday, until a burnt out motor is replaced and fully functional, water officials said.

"It's going to continue until about Friday," said Juan Martinez, the water district's president. "We are going to bring the new motor sometime Monday and hopefully by Tuesday we will have full water pressure, but we are going to continue testing the water and everything should be ready by Friday.

The Jim Wells County Fresh Water Supply District No. 1 met on Sunday to discuss the boil water notification with residents in the Ben Bolt area. At the meeting, they decided that residents should continue to boil their water for consumption and cooking until Friday.

Ben Bolt residents are asked to boil their water to ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes for water used for drinking, cooking and making ice. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two more minutes.

Residents may choose to purchase bottled water or obtain water from other suitable sources.

Martinez said he received about a dozen phone calls over the weekend from residents outside the Ben Bolt area and he wants to stress that only Ben Bolt residents are affected by the boil notification. He said residents would also continue experiencing low pressure at their residences and they should use the water only for necessities.

"It's enough to flush toilets," he said.

Despite the inconvenience, Martinez said no illnesses have been reported.

A recent accident involving power lines on Farm to Market Road 2508, which caused a blackout in Ben Bolt Thursday left residents in the dark and caused the water system motor to go out.

The power outage on Thursday afternoon was caused by an 18-wheeler that snagged the power lines.

As a precautionary measure, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the public water system to notify all of its customers to boil their water for drinking and cooking until further notice.