City of Abilene reduces water output for wholesale customers, inventory at dangerously low levels

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Water Department reduced the water output to its wholesale customers (those outside the city). This was done to ensure the water system in Abilene did not fail, thus leaving the Key City and surrounding areas without water.

Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams said in a Facebook live update that on Saturday the community used 36 million gallons of water. “That represents more than any other day that we use on the summer,” said Mayor Anthony Williams.

Saturday afternoon the water department contacted rural partners and other wholesale customers and asked them to reduce the water usage. However, the amount of water usage put the Abilene water system in jeopardy. The Abilene Water Department reduced the amount of water output to its wholesale customers to ensure the system did not fail.

“Abilene was in a situation where the system could have failed. If the system failed there would be no water for anybody. So, the water department reduced the amount of usage to our wholesale customers to a 35%, that was done again to make sure we didn’t lose the functionality of our system.”

Mayor Williams said the plan is to be sure that Abilene has enough stability and then restore the water in larger percentiles to its wholesale customers.

“So how it works is Abilene, then Steamboat Mountain, and then Tuscola. So for Tuscola residents to be able to get the water, Steamboat Mountain must first be charged,” said Mayor Williams. “We’re hopeful today that after we stabilize our system in Abilene then we can provide water in higher percentiles to our partners.”

The City of Abilene is asking its wholesale customers (those outside the city of Abilene) to reduce their water use after significant water use beyond normal levels. “This is likely due to apparent leaks in water systems outside the city of Abilene.”

The City said in a press release issued Sunday afternoon that contrary to some reports, they have not shut off any community’s water, but they have reduced output and requested conservation for some areas in an effort to reduce waste and prevent a water shortage for the entire system.

“We have not instructed any wholesale customer, or Dyess AFB, to stop taking water. We have not turned the water off to any wholesale customer or to Dyess AFB, said Rodney Taylor, Water Utilities Director. “Our message to each entity has clearly and consistently been to control the take rates and to slow down on repressurizing its systems.”

Water Utilities Director Rodney Taylor later provided an update on the status of the city’s water inventory.

“The City of Abilene’s water inventory is much improved this Sunday morning. Please understand that we want each of your systems to return to normal as soon as possible, but we must protect the stability of Abilene’s water system, your water source, during your processes. Abilene’s water inventory hovered at dangerously low levels in practically every storage tank for the entire day yesterday. Please bring your systems up wisely.”

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