Limestone County water company prepares for more freezing temperatures

POSTED: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 5:24pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am

LIMESTONE COUNTY -- More freezing temperatures and severe weather Wednesday means more work for a water company whose pipes froze last week, leaving hundreds without water for days and a boil alert that is still in effect.

Fox 44 spoke to the company in Limestone County to see how they're preparing for the severe weather.

Water for nearly 600 people who use SLC Water Supply is flowing fine this week.

Just five days ago, freezing temperatures left hundreds of customers without water for three days when a water main broke.

It was a nightmare for everyone, especially the President of SLC, Alan Hughes.

"We had not thought in this kind of scenario. We go through all kinds of scenarios as to what could happen to the water system. Freezing pipes wasn't one of them. Off the chart: six inch pipe freezing solid. It just doesn't happen," said Hughes.

Now, they have to prepare for yet another freeze overnight.

Tuesday crews placed heat lamps on vulnerable areas to prevent what happened last Friday. When temperatures were so low for so long, the water froze solid in the pipe. Causing one of the two main intake pipes that run into the lake to break apart, taking down half the system."

SLC was able to save the other intake pipe that froze by using a heated cover.

Getting the water to the customers is a detailed process, and that means a lot of exposed pipes have to be weatherized.

All the while, Central Texas isn't used to freezing temperatures for long periods of time.

"In 21 years of operation down here, we've never had anything approach this, and the normal routine was followed to insulate the things. It always sufficed before, but this was something special," said Hughes.

SLC is working on a cold weather program to be in place by next winter, but for Tuesday night, heat lamps and insulation will have to work.

SLC says customers are still on a boil water alert due to last weeks freeze.

HEBE did donate water that customers can get from SLC water supply.



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