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City officials say no water boil necessary after broken water pipe

One customer was affected by the broken water pipe north of the Oso Water Reclamation Plant.
Posted at 5:20 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 00:44:35-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A broken water pipe north of the Oso Wastewater Reclamation Plant that sent discharge into Oso Bay on Monday evening had area residents concerned on Tuesday.

Today, the city reassured residents there is no water boil advisory for municipal water customers.

However, the city is advising residents not to swim, fish, or wade in the water of that impacted area.

City Manager Peter Zanoni told KRIS earlier today they're still looking for the exact location and cause of the crack. This break is only affecting one resident with a water well in the area.

“I did notice a smell, immediately thought it was like a water treatment facility or something,” Nancy Jordan said. “But definitely like a sulfur-type smell to the air.”

Jordan is describing the stench in the air near the Oso Wastewater Reclamation Plant Tuesday morning.

It all started with a report of a fish kill from a wastewater discharge in Cullen Creek next to the Oso Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Zanoni said crews were working late into the evening last night and again first thing this morning to fix the reported leak.

"The site is contained," Zanoni said. "We have several booms that are containing the wastewater flow and we're continuing to search for the location so we can get that line fixed.”

The city's water department said in an email Tuesday afternoon that city contractors remain on-site cleaning up the leak and trying to determine the source.

"City staff is in the field providing drone footage of the area, as well as dye testing pipes to determine the exact location of where the pipe broke," the release reads. "Currently, we can see no active overflow in the area. There are two, side by side 36-inch pipes that we are examining to find the leak."

The city said "there are many variables that contribute to the condition of a wastewater pipe, including age, weather conditions, and environmental factors."

While the impact of the Oso Bay water boil advisory was limited, we investigated the history Corpus Christi has when it comes to water infrastructure problems.

Most notably, a citywide tap water ban impacted residents in December 2016.

The water was tainted with a chemical asphalt emulsifier.

Turns out there was no back-flow preventor installed when gallons of the chemicals spilled into the waterways from the industrial district.

That water boil advisory lasted several weeks.

"Pipes do break periodically,” Mayor Joe McComb said. “We try to, well we don't have any control on when they do break but when they do, we try to respond as quickly as possible particularly in situations like this."

Again, the City of Corpus Christi wants to remind people that there is not a water boil advisory for municipal water customers at this time.