ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- The City of Odessa’s Utility Director Thomas Kerr held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to update the community on the progress of the City’s water restoration endeavors. 

Kerr said most areas across Odessa had water as of 4:00 p.m. but some areas, including the north side of Odessa and West Odessa were still waiting. However, Kerr said he expects all areas will have water by the end of the night. Despite the water now flowing through the pipes, Kerr said everyone needs to follow the boil water guidelines and will need to do so until at least Friday. 

Here are those recommendations:

  • You can use your tap water for cooking, but only if you boil the water for three to five minutes first.
  • Avoid giving tap water to pets until the restriction is lifted.
  • Boiled water can be used to wash dishes, hands, and to shower, but you should avoid getting water into your eyes and mouth. Children, the elderly, and those who are immunocompromised should not shower or bathe with City water until the boil water notice is lifted. 
  • Use bottled water or water that has been boiled when brushing your teeth.

According to Kerr, crews will begin sampling the water sometime Thursday, and it will take 24 hours for the test results to come back. If those test results show contamination, the boil water notice will remain in effect. 

Aside from taking precautions before consuming water, Kerr said people need to try and conserve water while crews work to bring the entire system back online. He said no one on City water should be watering their lawns right now. 

Some on social media have expressed their frustration at the time it has taken to have their water restored, however, Kerr stressed that crews have been charging the system “slowly and deliberately” to prevent any other lines from breaking. According to Kerr, there has been only one leak during the water restoration process, that leak was at the site of the original break. Kerr called the break “manageable” and said they will continue to monitor it. 

“We’ve been very fortunate so far,” Kerr said, when talking about the process. 

Despite that break, Kerr stated that taking the entire system again is unlikely. 

“Typically…you certainly avoid and hope that you don’t have to bring the plant down because that stops all the water flow in the city. This break was so close to and such a major transmission line off of the plant that we couldn’t manage…the loss of water,” he said. 

In short, there was no way to keep the water on and fix the leak at the same time.