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Odessa residents face another water outage

Odessa residents face another water outage
Odessa residents face another water outage

ODESSA, Texas – Tens of thousands of Odessa residents were left without water again Saturday afternoon as crews worked to repair a leak in a water main, a persistent problem in the city’s aging infrastructure.

Crews in the fast-growing city in the heart of the Permian Basin were unable to isolate a leak discovered Saturday morning. City Manager John Beckmeyer said faulty valves forced workers to shut down the entire system to make repairs. The city’s aging, 700-mile system has recurring problems and is due for a major overhaul, he said.

After a much larger leak in May caused a water outage, Mayor Javier Joven said most of the province’s residents outside the city limits also rely on the city’s water treatment plant.

The city sent out an alert around noon, warning residents that water would be turned off at 2 p.m. Beckmeyer said residents would be without water for an estimated three hours and were told to boil water for 24 hours.

Breckmeyer said Odessa laid off a crew that regularly checked the valves about a decade ago to cut costs.

The city now has standard procedures in place to limit the amount of time water is shut off if leaks can’t be isolated, preventing days-long water outages like the one seen in 2022. Odessa also began notifying residents of water issues via mobile notifications after many were caught off guard by power outages in May.

Beckmeyer says the city is working on fixing the valves, but contractual repairs will take time and won’t be cheap. The city has applied for help from a new $1 billion statewide water fund that voters approved in November under the constitutional amendment.

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