TX - water pressure failure cancels Odem-Edroy ISD classes

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Water pressure failure cancels Odem-Edroy ISD classes, but students should be back in class today By Guy H. Lawrence Caller-Times

ODEM - Businesses and residents struggled with low water pressure and Odem-Edroy Independent School District students got the day off Wednesday because of a problematic water line break near Taft. Officials expect water pressure to return to normal sometime today for Taft residents and by Friday for Odem residents. The pressure loss was bad enough that school was canceled for the 1,200 students at Odem-Edroy. And residents in Taft saw a water pressure falloff that lasted about five hours and depleted the water storage supply there. City officials said the pressure was reduced while the city tried to restore its reserve water supply. Don Roach, assistant manager of the San Patricio Municipal Water District, which serves communities in San Patricio and Aransas counties, said the break happened at about 3:30 p.m. Monday in a 50-year-old, 24-inch pipe on County Road 1074 near Taft. "It is all holding," Roach said about the repaired line. "We are just building (storage) levels in Odem and Taft. We are on the road to recovery." After trying to conserve water Tuesday, the Odem-Edroy Independent School District canceled classes for its students Wednesday, said Superintendent Charles Zepeda. School officials used paper plates in the cafeteria Tuesday and tried to use as little water as possible in the bathrooms, he said. After talking with Odem City Secretary Billie Jo Tennill early Wednesday, Zepeda decided to give students the day off. Classes will resume today unless something else happens, Zepeda said. Parents are asked to listen to radio and television broadcasts between 6 and 7 a.m. for information. Overall, an estimated 3,500 customers have been affected by the water line break, which was repaired Tuesday afternoon. In addition to Odem and Taft residents, customers of the Seaboard and Rincon water supply systems were also affected, Roach said. Odem and Taft residents were asked not to water their lawns until water storage was back to normal. The break caused a few problems for Odem resident Sonny Bargas. Because of the low pressure, he had to take the family's wash to a local laundromat, he said. The family stored about 20 gallons of water and managed to bathe and cook with what they had, he said. Tennill said water lines were full throughout the repair work, though pressure was reduced to below 50 percent to preserve water, she said.


-- Doris (reaper1@mindspring.com), August 31, 2000

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