Residents of Western Lake Estates are frustrated after multiple water notices were issued from SouthWest Water Company Thursday morning.
A boil water notice was sent out Thursday morning after a lightning strike from storms hit the plant site damaging the electrical panels to two wells and a well pump, according to a statement from the water company.
“On Thursday morning, lightning struck our plant site and damaged the electrical panels for two wells and a well pump in the Western Lake Estates and Cedar Ridge subdivisions. Unfortunately, the damage caused low pressure within our distribution system,” according to the statement. “As a result, an in accordance with TCEQ regulations, we issued a boil water notice. We began repair work right away and one of the wells is already up and running. We will provide updates to our customers and the community as we have them.”
According to resident Katherine Ballard, the boil water notice comes after three prior notices from the water company. Ballard sent each email notice to the Weatherford Democrat, which shows the date and time each one was sent.
At 7:40 a.m. on July 8, Ballard was sent a leak notice from SouthWest Water Company. At 1:24 p.m. on July 8 another notice was sent out for drought restrictions.
“They issued a drought notice and threatened to penalize by fining and/or turning off our water is we use too much of it. They said it’s because of excessive use and excessive leaks, which to my knowledge we are in no way, shape or form in any kind of drought,” Ballard said. “They issued a leak notice and then a couple hours later that’s when they issued the drought notice and that’s the same day it rained, and then it rained again [Wednesday], so how are we in a drought? They’re just blatantly lying to customers.”
At 11:08 p.m. on July 10, Ballard received a low to no pressure notice from the company and then at 9:07 a.m. Thursday, the boil water notice was issued.
“I’ve got animals that I typically give the water to and at this point we’re just buying bottled water. My one son has eczema and his skin is very sensitive, so now when we have a boil water notice in effect, it makes me worried for his skin,” Ballard said. “We can’t even get the water to go half the time because there’s little to no pressure in our area based upon a leak. You never know if you can do the dishes, take a shower, give water to your animals, it’s just all over the place.”
Ruthie McCurly has lived in Western Lake Estates since October 2017 and said her biggest concern are her two babies.
“I have two babies and how am I suppose to boil water with two babies,” McCurly said. “It’s pretty bad and we live paycheck-to-paycheck, so I can’t even go out and buy water. I’m about to drive 45-minutes to give my babies a bath because we’re not suppose to take a bath. We’ve always gotten low water pressure, but this is the first time that it’s been really bad.”
Resident Destiney Malone has lived in the subdivision since 2016 and said lately it’s been something every month.
“We’ve been having to go out and buy bottled water because that’s all my son drinks, water, and I won’t let him drink the water that’s at the house. Even if we have a refrigerator that filters water, I don’t think it’s safe. It’s become a problem where it’s just non-stop where we either don’t have water, there’s no pressure, it smells bad or it’s brown,” Malone said. “Then we got a notification about us having a drought and if we use our water we can be penalized. Well, we’re not in a drought and that happens to be coming after we’ve already had all these other issues. We’re paying a $50 base charge for water alone and you would think with all of us paying $50 a month, that’s not including the water use, that things like this would be fixed and wouldn’t be an issue. We haven’t had one single month where our water bill is under $150.”
According to the statement from the water company, they understand the boil water notice is an inconvenience.
“We understand the boil water notice is an inconvenience, and we sincerely apologize,” according to the statement. “Please be assured that we are working quickly to resolve the situation. Customers with questions can call 866-654-7992.”