CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Construction of two new water towers in Corpus Christi was completed in July 2018, but three years later, they're still not operational.
Here in July of 2021, are still not operational.
The city has plans to put the towers -- located at Holly and Everhart, and at Rand Morgan and Interstate 37 -- into service by making appropriate fixes, but that's scheduled to be a two-year process that won't begin until early next year.
“We’re going to try to expedite that," Water Utilities Chief Operating Officer Mike Murphy, who's in his second month on the job, said. "I would like to get it done much sooner than 24 months, but that’s the project goal."
Part of the project includes replacing 60-to-70 year-old cast-iron pipes, some of which burst because of high water-pressure when the city initially tried to put the towers online soon after their construction.
"When you’re dealing with a system the age that we’re dealing with, issues are going to come up," Murphy said. "This one, it caught everybody off-guard."
Another important part of the project is adding a pressure-relief valve to the new water towers.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is currently reviewing the city's plans to do that.
When the review comes back, likely in three months or so, construction can begin.
Once the valves and new pipes are in place, the city will again put the new water towers online, which Murphy says will create several benefits.
"A better quality of water, and you’ll have better pressure at your homes," he said. "I mean, those are very important things. So we look forward to that happening. It’s just -- bear with us a little while longer."
Some Corpus Christi residents weren't happy to hear that it could be two years or more before the new water towers are up and running.
“(I'm) disappointed, because it’s going to be awhile,” Daniel Pepi said.
Others are already pleased with their water service, and look forward to improved pressure and quality.
“I can’t imagine it being much better, because at my house it’s really good already," Cynthia McLendon said. "But I guess that would be wonderful, you know, for everyone."