Two free packages bottled of water are being offered per household as long as supplies last for North Hopkins Water Supply Corporation customers to assist them until water levels and pressure are sufficiently improved to pump water to all customers, according to Hopkins County Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Endsley. Look for the pallets stacked with cases of water at Joe Bob’s at the corner of State Highway 19 and FM 71.
The City of Sulphur Springs, twice over the weekend, turned off North Hopkins WSC’s water, leaving residents who receive water from NHWSC’s 2,500 meters on more 300 miles of lines without water. City Manager Marc Maxwell said the decision was due to the low water pressure and high water usage by NHWSC following last week’s storms, typically an indicator or significant water leaks. The above normal amount of water being pumped from Sulphur Springs to NHWSC had drained the water towers in Sulphur Springs. Until a plan was devised by NHWSC and provided to the City of Sulphur Springs, Maxwell reported Sunday, the water in NHWSC would only be turned on for about 2 hours each morning.
NHWSC reported shutting off over 100 meters that had leaks on the customer side of the meter and have been looking for leaks on their supply lines as well. NHWSC has received help from area volunteer fire departments and the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office as well. Shutting off these meters has helped alleviate some of the problem but still more needs to be done.
The lack of water Monday resulted in Sulphur Bluff and North Hopkins schools having to cancel classes for the day.
City and NHWSC officials discussed the matter during Hopkins County Commissioners Court, then joined forces immediately afterward to develop a plan for finding leaks. NHWSC’s water valves were turned back on at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 22, but officials said it could be several hours until enough is pumped and re-pressurized to reach residents, and depending when the source(s) of the low pressure is(are) determined it could take even longer. In an effort to get water directly to residents, NHWSC has the last few days bypassed filling up the tank in the Dike area. Residents have reported they haven’t had any water in days.
North Hopkins Water Supply Corporation, like the City of Sulphur Springs, is now offer a 1-million gallon reward to its customers who find a major water leak on their system. A major water leak is defined as a leak on a main line not a service lateral. Additionally, NHWSC is also offering a 100,000-gallon reward for customers who turn in a leak on a service lateral to a vacant building or vacant home.
Both reward offers are good for the next 48 hours beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 22. People who identify such a leak should call it in to the Hopkins County Sheriff’s office at 903-438-4040. The city will back up the Hopkins County Water Supply Corporation with the free water for those customers who identify leaks.
County emergency management team was slated to send a small army of people to North Hopkins to look for leaks. Since they can’t find leaks if the water is not on, the city restored water to the district starting at 10 a.m. It was expected to take a few hours to pressurize the entire system.
It would seem the efforts being made Monday to locate water leaks have been successful, with at least a four located Monday. Maxwell reported while NHWSC’s usage was still pretty high, the City of Sulphur Springs’ water towers had filled by about 3:30 p.m. and were still holding water at 7:15 p.m. Feb. 22.
Just before 8 p.m., what appeared to be a NHWSC main line rupture was reportedly located on FM 2285 at FM 71, which officials said should help with the WSC’s water issues.
NHWSC asks that customers conserve water when it is restored they can so that the system can fill back up more quickly and leaks can be identified.