Galveston, TX – February 17, 2021 – The City of Galveston is under Stage 5 water restrictions after prolonged freezing temperatures exacerbated by the loss of power for heating caused major water line breaks in homes and businesses across the island.
The City of Galveston has enacted Stage 5 of its water emergency response due to major water line breaks and system failures, which caused significant loss of the capability to provide water service. Most customers may already be experiencing low to no water pressure as a result of these breaks and failures.
Below freezing temperatures over the last two days caused water line breaks in homes and businesses to occur throughout the city, putting increased demand on the infrastructure and water supply system. During this time, the Gulf Coast Water Authority (GCWA), the city's water supplier, separately encountered a water supply issue, which greatly reduced the flow of water to the island. In addition, other communities supplied by GCWA are also experiencing significant system wide leaks. The combination of these events has resulted in GCWA drawing down on its available water supplies. The Thomas Mackey Water Plant is working at full capacity; however, demand is currently exceeding available supply. The Gulf Coast Water Authority will continue to supply water to the island as long as it can. The city’s water supply is critically low, and efforts are ongoing to fill tanks while GCWA is still delivering water.
The City of Galveston is working diligently to provide water to its residents; however, reduction in the supply from GCWA will inhibit the city’s ability to restore system wide water service.
Once water is restored, the City will be under a boil water notice, meaning water for drinking, cooking and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. This is to ensure destruction of any harmful bacteria.
Galveston residents will also be under Stage 5 water restrictions. Stage 5 water restrictions means the city may limit water pressure across the island in an attempt to stabilize water storage levels. Residents and businesses will likely notice this in their homes as reduced water pressure.
Under Stage 5 restrictions, we’re asking that residents significantly curtail their water usage. Showers should be limited to five minutes or less. Landscape water uses are prohibited. The city will also discontinue the flushing of water mains unless there is a threat to public health, safety, or welfare. Water pressure will slowly be enhanced as the system is able to re-equalize.
The City of Galveston will provide updates regarding the status of the water restrictions as more information becomes available.