Residents in Fritch area frustrated over water issues - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Residents in Fritch area frustrated over water issues

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FRITCH - Fritch water workers spent most of their Memorial Day weekend trying to fix a well, but it's not the citizens of Fritch who are frustrated.

Just outside of the Fritch city limits, water is a problem.

"Seems like since the city of Fritch took over we've had a lot more problems," Arroyo Verde resident Al Alejandro said.

Alejandro isn't the only person with that opinion. Almost everyone on his street hasn't had enough water pressure to shower, do laundry, or wash dishes all weekend.

"We only had water for about an hour, an hour and a half. That's about it," Alejandro said.

The city says the main well equipment for the area burned up Saturday night, and a crew wasn't able to get out to fix it until yesterday.

Boil water notices were posted all over town as a precautionary measure, and all media outlets were told to run the notice as well. Zink says the city did what is required of them by the state government to let residents know about the issue, and calls to every affected resident would be virtually impossible to make since the city doesn't have any contact information for those outside city limits.

The notices do not explain the water pressure issue, but Public Works Director Aaron Zink says he's explained it to hundreds of callers.

"With that being our primary well, we didn't have the demand we needed to meet people's needs. So we have four back up wells that we turned on, unfortunately those wells will only pump about 14 gallons a minute," Zink said.

Those booster pumps are turned on at 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. to supply enough pressure for a shower.

It's an inconvenience the city hopes to eliminate in the near future, by building connections between the city water supply and the outside water supply.

"If we ever have a problem like this in the future, we'll be able to open those up and both systems will be able to take care of each other and we'll never have a water shortage," Zink said.

Thousands of dollars have gone towards updating the system since the city bought the water rights in 2010, and even more upgrades are to come. Still, many residents are so fed up with the problems and their water bills, they're planning to build their own wells.

It's obvious which homes already have them because of the bright green lawns.

"I've been here since 92, so you can imagine how much money it's saved me," Denson Waits said.

But for now, the city says things should be back to normal by Thursday afternoon. Until then, bottled water is available at the fire station in town to give to those residents. The city will even deliver the water to those without means to pick it up.

Zink says the safety and well-being of all customers is the top priority, and his crews have worked around the clock to get this problem fixed. For any concerns, questions, or suggestions, Zink can be reached at (806)857-3143 extension 106, or you can call a 24 hour service line at (806)898-1358.    

The city also encourages residents to express their concerns at the Fritch city council meetings on the third Tuesday of every month. The August meeting, on August 15, will address the out-of-city-limit water rates for the next fiscal year. This fiscal year ends on October 1st in Fritch.