“The city should not get to this point”: Gunter asking residents to conserve water, warning city could run out

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 9:27 AM CDT
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GUNTER, Texas (KXII) -

Update as of July 29, 2022:

On Friday, the city announced they expect crews to finish repairs on one of the wells sometime during the middle of next week.

They still request residents to limit indoor water usage and stop watering outdoors.

The city added neighboring fire departments, and the Grayson County Tender Task Force is on standby in case of a fire emergency.

The city of Gunter sent an emergency notification Wednesday concerned it could be without water by the morning.

So far, the city said the water has not run out, but the threat hasn’t disappeared.

“The city should not get to this point,” said Kathy Ann Bartow, a Gunter resident. “At any point, because they are responsible for so many people.”

“They should have been prepared with this water situation,” said Marlene Pecina, a Gunter resident.

In more than a hundred-degree heat, the city of Gunter warned water may not be a guarantee.

“I took my big pasta pots and filled them with water in the tub,” said Ann Bartow.

On Monday, Gunter said it was in an “emergency situation” after its second water well went down.

Together, the city said two wells shut off access to 600 gallons of water an hour, leaving the third well, which only produces 85 gallons an hour, to keep up with demand.

“We had two wells that quit at the same time,” Gunter Mayor Mark Miller. “And that is a very unusual situation.”

In a “Daily Water Briefing,” the city said the motor broke in the well along Bledsoe Road, and crews found an electrical short within the well’s cables off Highway 121.

They said the extreme heat, drought, and high water demand only made matters worse.

“We are working as hard as we can, as fast as we can to correct it,” said Miller.

The city asked residents to conserve water, including ceasing all outdoor watering and limiting non-essential water use, like dishwashers, washing machines, showers, and sinks.

But among residents of a city expecting rapid growth, the shortage sparks concern.

“I don’t know what the problem is, but they’re gonna need more wells before they start building more homes,” said Pecina.

Reporter: “Do you have anything in place to prevent something like this from happening again?”

“No,” said Miller. “Not until we get another source of water in here. We are working on that. We know we’re going to have to have a lot more water than what we’ve got.”

The city said there’s no timeline on when the wells will be back up.

For now, they are getting assistance from Mustang Special Utility District in Sherman.

They said they hope to get the well on Highway 121 back up in the next few days, but even then they expect water restrictions to continue through the summer.

“We’ve got about six or seven feet left in our water tower, and as long as people do what we ask them to do and conserve between getting water from the city of Sherman and our small well, we’ll be able to survive,” said Miller.

The city said about 95% of residents have complied with the restrictions so far; however, they expect to write citations for those who violate it.

Gunter also said they plan on holding a town hall in the near future.

This is a developing story.

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