Troup issues boil water notice for entire town after water main break

by Cristin Parker

The city of Troup continues to urge its residents to boil their water before consumption after a major water line sprung a leak on Monday, Dec. 10.

The leak was reported at about 4:20 p.m. Monday via a cell phone call from an individual who reportedly was “driving along North Railroad Street near West Bradford when he said water suddenly began bubbling up in and along the sides of the street,” according to the city’s Facebook page. Troup Public Works crews were immediately dispatched, and found an 8-foot split in the cast iron water main running beneath North Railroad Street.

“To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use,” city officials reported via social media. “The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

“When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption.”

Troup Public Works Director John Phillips said Tuesday, “We’re up and running now. We’ve been flushing the system all day today and are planning to take samples for testing tomorrow (Wednesday), and hopefully be back to normal by Thursday.”

Water pressure across town was affected Monday night, and the Troup Independent School District cancelled classes on Tuesday, Dec. 11, in response to the issue.

“Troup ISD will resume our regular schedule on Wednesday, Dec. 12,” a statement on TISD’s website posted Tuesday said. “Buses will run on the regular schedule and classes will start on time.
“We will be providing bottled drinking water to students, faculty and staff until the boil water requirements are lifted.”

On Tuesday, city officials posted a timeline of the incident on the city’s Facebook page, “By approximately 4:55 p.m., the water tower was sending notifications that it was low on water,” the city’s official timeline states. “All distribution pumps from the above ground water tank to the elevated storage tank were turned on to attempt to maintain a supply of water in the system for as long as possible.

“As soon as all utility lines were cleared excavation of the leak began. As repairs progressed over the next several hours, all water available in storage tanks was depleted and water pressure in the entire system dropped below acceptable levels.

“At that point, a public notice to boil water was issued at approximately 8:50 p.m.

“At approximately 10 p.m., the leak was repaired and the refilling of storage tanks began. At approximately 7 a.m. (Tuesday) morning, after the ground storage tank was refilled with 250,000 of water during the night, water was released back into the distribution system and the elevated storage tank. A 250,000-gallon storage tank requires about eight hours to refill.

“At times (on Tuesday), the water may have a “milky” appearance. and may spurt from your faucet. This is due to air in the lines mixing with the water as the system is refilled. City crews will be going throughout the city today flushing the lines to remove as much of the air trapped in the lines as possible.

“Thank you for your patience as we work to completely restore your water service. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Troup resident David Adams posted on the city’s Facebook page in reply to the city’s posts on the incident, “We are very fortunate to have city workers willing to repair something like this in the dark and 35-degree weather.”