Drought Watch: Necessary Water Waste

Drought Watch: Necessary Water Waste

Thousands of gallons of water could be seen shooting from fire hydrants around Wichita Falls. With the current drought situation and tough restrictions, residents wanted to know why.

"We were out in the distribution center flushing a few fire hydrants. It's just normal distribution center operations and maintenance, just as we do every year," said Daniel Nix, Utilities Operations Manager at the Cypress Water Treatment Plant.

Nix said there was a slight P-H imbalance and it wasn't up to the city to decide whether or not to flush the system, they had to per the state.

"It's to maintain water quality in the distribution system. It is a state mandate, if we detect water quality dropping off, we have to go out into the distribution system and flush those hydrants until the water quality is brought back up," said Nix.

The fire hydrant lines are tied directly to the distribution center which means fresh water was being wasted. Concerned residents were questioning why that water wasn't being reserved, even for none drinking purposes, especially when they are having to cut back.

"People are wondering, if we're trying to conserve water, why don't we capture that water. And it was something we just had not thought of in year's passed. But, with the drought it's something we're considering today," said Nix.

And with that consideration comes logistics. The city does not have the equipment necessary to capture that water.

"There is the possibility that we could capture it in a tanker truck and bring it back to the plant and retreat it. The problem is the city doesn't have a tanker truck, I would have to go rent one," said Nix.

Nix said they are in the early stages of possibly buying a tanker truck. They have to find out how much they cost, do the research, then present that request to the City Council.

Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham said, no information about a tanker truck had been presented to the City Council as of Wednesday but, he believes that research is currently being conducted.

Daniel Nix said, there's nothing to worry about, they're being as conscientious as possible and will only flush when they have to, and if residents see them flushing, it's probably a water quality issue. The flushes may take place throughout the summer.

Jenyne Donaldson, Newschannel Six.