BROWNFIELD, TX & LUBBOCK, TX — The city of Brownfield is now being asked to watch out for its water. Local officials urged residents starting Wednesday to boil water for at least two minutes before drinking it to kill any potential bacteria.
“It’s not anything wrong with the water we know of, but [it’s] just precautionary,” Jeff Davis, city manager for Brownfield, said.
Brownfield joins a growing list of cities across Texas facing boil notices and water problems, including Houston, Austin and Dallas. Davis pointed out that in this case, the boil notice is actually not weather related — it was caused by a water main break.
However, on top of the winter storm, the boil notice is kind of a double-edged sword.
“We’re asking you to boil your water, but we’re also asking you to conserve gas and electricity, which are the two ways to boil water,” Davis added.
For now, he said the water is safe to shower and wash clothes in but not to drink or brush your teeth. Filters and coffee makers don’t cut it, and pets should drink boiled water too.
But what about those who don’t have any water at all?
“I came down one night [in my house], and there was a foot of water in this foot and a half crawl space,” Taylor LeBlanc, whose pipes burst during the freeze on Monday, said.
LeBlanc said his basement was flooded with gallon after gallon of water.
“I grew up in New England, and honestly over 10 years, we’ve only had one Polar Vortex, and this is ten times worse than [what] we experienced up there,” LeBlanc said.
Eventually, LeBlanc had to shut the water off on the home, and the house is now on day three of no water. But now LeBlanc is using what started the mess to help fix it. He “improvised” by gathering snow from outside in a bucket and melting it to fill and power the house’s toilets and drain the sinks.
“We bring the snow in overnight, and [have it melt] on its own … but when we get into a pinch we throw it in the electric kettle and melt it,” LeBlanc said.