Fort Worth, Texas, is another city to be added to the list of those with reported possible water contaminations this year. City officials have ordered that citizens in the northern region of Fort Worth boil their drinking water for the rest of the week. Authorities say it’s just a precaution against possible contamination.
“We would rather err on the side of caution and get rid of it,” says Mary Gugliuzza, spokeswoman for the city.
Those who are to be impacted by the water boiling make up a geographical square including all those south of Sendera Boulevard and north of Bonds Ranch Road, as well as those west of Haslet city limits and east of Willow Springs Road.
The possible contamination is said to have been caused by a pressure drop after a tank was accidentally drained on Wednesday. “When you lose pressure something has the potential to enter the system,” Gugliuzza said. “Not that anything has.”
A certain pressure is to be maintained in water plants at all times, and a change in that pressure can lead to possible contamination. If the water is contaminated, it’s likely not enough to make anyone seriously ill, but the city is taking precautions all the same.
For concerned parents, there are six schools that will be affected, all of which are in the Northwest Independent District: V.R. Eaton High School, Truett Wilson Middle School, Sonny & Allegra Nance Elementary School, Carl E. Schluter Elementary School, J.C. Thompson Elementary School, and Sendera Ranch Elementary School. Water fountains will be shut off before students arrive for the next couple of days until the contamination warning has passed.
The city will also be distributing free cases of drinking water to provide for those who may not be able to provide for themselves during this time. The two primary distribution centers will be at Wilson Middle School and Eaton High School. This bottled water will also be sent out to each of the affected schools, and they will also be served only prepackaged foods for the duration of the contamination warning.
The city’s first attempt to provide drinking water for residents came in the form of a tanker truck filled with potable drinking water. However, a few hours later, the city advised throwing out water collected from these tankers after residents reported it being discolored.
There has also been an order sent out to all restaurants in the area, requiring that they use only bottled water in their cooking processes or that they shut down until the boiling water order has been lifted.
Officials say that using a simple water filter is not enough to protect against certain contaminations, and until testing is completed on Friday, residents are advised to boil all water fully for at least two minutes to kill harmful bacteria and other dangerous microbes. Water for drinking should be fully cooled before ingested.
There have been multiple cases of water contamination throughout the nation over the last year. Most recently, it was discovered that Michigan officials covered up a possible lead contamination in their water supply. The state is undergoing serious water purification and the officials are being prosecuted for their actions.
As a result, people have begun adding water quality to their list of criteria when searching for a city to call home. Cities topping the list include Austin, Texas; New York City, New York; Denver, Colorado; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These cities have invested millions into their water purification systems to ensure that they’re the top of the line and continue to stay that way.
Fort Worth is just three hours north of Austin. Perhaps in the future, Austin will share some of its water purification secrets with the city of Fort Worth to prevent future contamination scares such as this.
[Image via Tom Pennington/Getty Images]