San Benito Officials Plan Repairs for Water Plant
SAN BENITO – The San Benito water plant is in need of repairs. The city manager said the freezing temperatures over the weekend caused several malfunctions.
Now 6,000 water customers are being asked to boil their water before consuming it.
San Benito City Manager Manuel De La Rosa said San Benito’s only operating water is plant is old. It was built in the 1920s with few repairs in between.
People in San Benito are making adjustments while their water supply is deemed safe.
Alicia Martinez said her grandson called her telling her their water wasn’t working properly.
Customers are under the advisory until further notice. They must boil their tap water for at least one minute if they plan to use it for drinking, brushing their teeth, washing dishes or making food.
Ms. Aguilar said she hasn’t drunk San Benito’s water in years. She said she isn’t sure if it’s contaminated and she simply doesn’t trust it.
De La Rosa said some of the water pressure monitoring equipment at Water Plant 1 failed because of the freezing temperatures.
A water valve located between San Benito and Harlingen was open to allow San Benito to purchase water from Harlingen Water Works, that valve failed too.
Water pressure dramatically dipped into what the state standards deem unsafe. City officials had to issue the water boil advisory.
“This was certainly an event that caught all of our attention by surprise. We didn’t have one failure, we had two failures,” De Le Rosa said.
He said the fixes that they have to do now weren’t on the forefront. They are now though. He admitted the plant is old and needs to be upgraded.
“Plant 1 was built in 1927. It’s been upgraded a couple of times, but it’s been awhile and it needs some additional improvements to it,” De La Rosa said.
He said it could be costly.
One man said that’s where he wants his taxpayer dollars invested.
“They charge us taxes. They should invest in that too. We pay taxes so they can make repairs,” Roberto Gaytan said.
The San Benito school district said classes will continue as scheduled. They will provide bottled water for students and they have plenty in storage.
The water samples could take until Wednesday to come back. San Benito will continue purchasing water from Harlingen until they are up and running.