VINTON, Texas (KTSM) — On Friday afternoon, sprinklers could be seen watering Vinton resident Gracie Vasquez’s front yard. Vasquez was relieved to have water again after a broken pump caused 300 Vinton residents to go without water on Wednesday and Thursday.
“It was hard, you know, to wake up and not find no water — not for the bathroom, not for anything,” said Vasquez.
Vasquez cares for her grandchildren during the day and said it was difficult. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality advised affected residents to boil their water following the water outage but Vasquez says she didn’t know she needed to do that.
“My daughter had to go buy some gallons of water for the babies, especially, and then like you say to boil the water we didn’t know none of that we didn’t know what was going on,” said Vasquez.
Down the street from Vasquez’s house lives Sylvia Urquidi. She told KTSM 9 News that she never drinks the water from her home faucet — she drinks only bottled water.
“If I need to use it, I will boil it. But for now, we use water bottles,” said Urquidi.
She said that she doesn’t have social media and didn’t see the alerts from the Village of Vinton. She’s thankful that her daughter saw the news on Facebook and notified her.
“She has Facebook and she goes, ‘Mom, it’s all over Facebook.’ Oh, I didn’t know that, I don’t have Facebook,” said Urquidi.
Vinton Mayor Manuel Leos said that the water is safe and that residents should just boil it out of precaution.
“Since we were opening up the system, we just want to make sure we did not contaminate anything or introduce any bacteria that shouldn’t be there, although the water is being tested and it is safe,” said Leos.
He said that the wells used to provide water to residents used to be managed by a private company but are now being handled by the Village of Vinton.
“It’s an old system — it’s way over 20 years old, but it’s new to us, so we’re just learning as we go,” said Leos.
Vinton is currently working on a project being funded by the Texas Water Development Board and the USDA to put in a full water and wastewater system rather than the existing wells, but the project will take at least another two years to complete.
Leos added that the Village of Vinton is working on ways to better notify residents when something like this happens or if there is a need to boil water.
“We are just now implementing plans on how we can better communicate getting notices to the residents,” said Leos.