Perrin suffers water outage

While much of Jack County rang in the new year staving off the bitter cold, Perrin residents did so without water.

An estimated 330 residents lost water service sometime after midnight New Year’s Eve and as of Friday afternoon, they continue to have no water.

Residents said calls to Texas Rain Holdings, the private company that owns and operates Perrin’s utility, went unanswered.

County leaders were surprised to learn Thursday morning Perrin had been without water for most of the week.

“Nobody said anything,” said Pct. 2 Commissioner James Brock. “They were dealing with the water company. I brought it up in court yesterday morning.”

Jack County Judge Mitchell Davenport said an emergency declaration was issued and the governor’s office was notified.

The Texas Commission for Environmental Quality was contacted. Friday, Andrew Keese with TCEQ said the agency had been notified of the water outage on Jan. 3 and investigation of the incident is ongoing.

“TCEQ has contacted both the owner and operator of the public water system, and the operator has indicated that water was restored on Jan. 4;  however, there are system line leaks that continue to be repaired up to the meters,” Keese wrote in an emailed statement. “Due to low water pressure and inadequate chlorine disinfectant residuals, the system has issued a boil water notice, which will remain in effect until adequate pressure and disinfectant residuals are restored and water samples are negative for the presence of coliform organisms.”

Jack County Emergency Management Coordinator Frank Hefner has been working to secure drinking water for residents since that time.

Sharon Van Baale with Rep. Drew Springer’s office and Sady Worthington hosted a water drive Thursday afternoon and early evening at the Jacksboro Fire Department.

Residents were able to pick up water Thursday evening from the Perrin Volunteer Fire Department. The Perrin varsity boys basketball team ended practice early to unload the trailers of donated water.

Faith Community Hospital EMS went door-to-door Thursday night throughout Perrin to provide information to residents on boiling water and Perrin VFD delivered water.

Perrin-Whitt CISD Superintendent Cliff Gilmore said the school has opened up its shower facilities to the public. Swan Family Wellness Center has also made its shower facilities available as well.

Many Perrin residents say they are accustomed to not having water, just not for this long.

“It’s nothing for us to have no water. It’ll go out for four or five hours at a time, all the time. But this has been days,” said Tracey Mahler. “It’s because of the leaks all over town because Texas Rain has not maintained the lines like they’re supposed to.

A message was left with Texas Rain for comment but the call has not yet been returned.

“Sadly, we’ve become accustomed to it. We just do what we need to do to get through it. I worry about the elderly, making sure they’re taken care of and have food and everything.”

By Friday afternoon, Hefner said the emergency system in both Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto had donated water. The Salvation Army’s Disaster Services trucked in a trailer of 25 pallets from Arlington.

The county’s efforts are focused on providing drinking water until the system can be repaired. But no one is sure when that will be.

“From what I’ve heard this morning, I don’t know how bad it’s going to get before it gets better, but I think there are enough people involved now that they’ll get it fixed,” Commissioner Brock said.

Jacksboro Newspapers

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