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Corpus Christi water system stable, officials now testing water quality

The city remains under a water boil notice until the mandatory 18-hour TCEQ analysis period ends.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Friday, 8 a.m.

Officials from the City of Corpus Christi said the water system remained stable overnight with a PSI that meets regulatory requirements. 

The Water Utilities team will be out testing water quality today throughout the city. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires an 18-hour analysis period to rescind the boil notice. 

The city remains under a boil notice until communicated otherwise. 

If water customers experienced a break in their pipes overnight and need help finding their water shutoff valve, email waterquality@cctexas.com or call the 24 hour Customer Service Call Center at 826-CITY.

Thursday, 6 p.m.

Power is a big issue, water continues to be as well. We know so many of you across the viewing area either don't have it running or it's low pressure.

According to the City of Corpus Christi, crews worked overnight, through early this morning to find that water main break, performing isolated pressure tests citywide.

The good news is that City Manager Peter Zanoni said the low water pressure causing the city-wide water boil is not because of a large water main break, but instead due to several pipe bursts at homes and stores.

Zanoni said we could get back to normal by this weekend.

"Sample tests tomorrow first thing, and that will begin the 18 hour period," Zanoni said. "We have to let the water settle to see if there is any growth in their culturing. See if there is any bacterial growth so that day one could begin as early as tomorrow. We could see us out of the, out of the boil situation by this weekend. We're hopeful."

Thursday, 9 a.m. 

The City of Corpus Christi has still not located a large water main break that is causing issues across the city. 

For a third day, City water utility crews worked overnight and throughout the morning to try and find the leak. Isolated pressure tests also were performed citywide. 

These efforts have yet to reveal any major water main break, the City said. Crews will continue to perform tests throughout the day to verify that mains are performing and stable.

All major metro water utilities across Texas are experiencing the same water challenges the same way. The loss of water throughout the water distribution systems in our City and across Texas is the result of cascading impacts from extreme weather, according to a statewide conference call organized by Texas American Water Works. 

Early this morning, Water Utilities staff began to steadily increase water flow in our water distribution system so recovery efforts can begin. 

The city asks that customers conserve water when and where they can. This will be important in restoring the water system. 

Fixing any water line breaks due to extreme weather or reporting a neighbor’s water break are great ways to help conserve water use, the city said.

The City remains under boil water notice.

The City’s Customer Call Center has extended its operation to 24 hours a day. Residents can call 361-826-CITY (2489).

Wednesday, 10 p.m.

The City of Corpus Christi is still searching for a large water main break causing water issues in Corpus Christi. After executing numerous plans to determine the location of the compromised main, crews began to perform isolated pressure tests Wednesday night.

Into the overnight hours, City crews began to systematically move through the city to determine the location of the compromised water main. 

Water customers are experiencing intermittent and disruptive water service as crews work from the northwest corner of the city toward the west.

Updates will be posted here as they are available. 

On Wednesday, crews thought they knew the area of the break in the Flour Bluff area.

The US Coast Guard out of Corpus Christi aided in the search for the broken line. A crew on board a MH-65 dolphin helicopter covered nearly 100 miles of pipeline from Calallen to Padre Island.

"As members of the Coast Guard, we are proud to have the ability to partner with our local community leaders to meet a common goal," said Lt. Loren Sancineto, Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi aircraft commander. "These partnerships are critical during natural disasters and we look forward to continuing to support the City of Corpus Christi and surrounding areas."

On the ground, we found one city water crew on Yorktown. It was just one of the numerous locations that were checked out to find the source of the break and crews who were constantly on the move.

To identify if one of the three mains had been compromised, water services were temporarily stopped to residents in the bluff. It was just one more headache residents had to endure as folks try to cope with little to no running water, no electricity, and in some cases, no heat.

"They are trying to heat up, trying to stay warm, they're trying to cook food," said Robert Morales with South Texas Propane.

South Texas Propane is located just past Funtrackers along SPID in Flour Bluff and saw an endless line of vehicles.

"It's been at least a 100-percent more business these past three days than I have ever seen my whole life here," said Morales.

Chris Russell with South Texas Propane wants folks to know they are open for business and vowed to work until the last vehicle pulls up as long as they have the supply.

"Very dedicated staff I got here; they understand the circumstances; they understand what's important right now, and the important right now is making sure these people elderly people or people who don't have heat, people who are without electricity and stuff like that, it's a small sacrifice," said Russell.

In the meantime, the city is encouraging all water customers to conserve water as crews begin to perform isolated pressure tests into the night.

Residents with concerns can contact our Customer Call Center at (361) 826-CITY (2489), please be advised high call volume is being experienced, wait times may be longer than normal.

City officials said they are also planning to set up bottled water distribution points around the city. 3News will keep you updated as more details about those distribution points are made available.

In the meantime, the City addressed rumors going around social media that the City is planning on turning off the water to all residents. They took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon to say that is NOT the case.

RELATED: 24 hour emergency shelter, warming centers in Corpus Christi

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The City put out the following news release just before the news conference began:

"The City of Corpus Christi’s water distribution system is being impacted from a major water main break that is leading to low water pressure or no water service to customs. This pertains to all of Corpus Christi customers except for those on Padre Island as those customers are on a different water line pressure plane that is not being impacted by this event.  Loss of power throughout the city is further complicating identification, repairs and restoration.

As a result of the low water pressures, the City must implement an immediate water boil order as required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.  All water customers are being notified to boil their water prior to consumption. Seniors and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria and should especially follow the order.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.  The City’s Emergency Operations Center is contacting grocers and other retailers to notify them of the need more bottled water for the Corpus Christi region.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the City of Corpus Christi will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes and rescind the water boil order.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact the City of Corpus Christi Call Center at 361-826-CITY (2489). The City of Corpus Christi is issuing this Boil Water Notice as a precautionary measure as we work to restore conditions post severe winter weather event."

3News will keep you updated as more details become available.

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