Thursday, December 9, 2010

 

 

 

Boil notice lifted; but few knew to treat water
Precaution issued following main break at West Main and Legendary Lane in GBC
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–A boil water notice was lifted shortly after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, following a water main break in Gun Barrel City Friday.
The main break affected about 1,000 East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District customers, including businesses and housing subdivisions west of Walmart.
Though a boil water notice message was to be transmitted via the utility’s phone master system, and was publicized on television and local radio, some say they weren’t warned and went through the entire weekend without treating their water.
East Deer Island resident and city councilman Dennis Baade said he wasn’t aware of the notice until Monday, when he saw it posted on the city’s marquee.
“I went down and talked to them and they (ECCFWSD) looked up my number and said, ‘yes, I was on the list of telephone numbers that was called,’” Baade said. “But I didn’t get a call. There is no recording on my answering machine that they called me.
“And later, I learn that they had a breakdown in their telephoning system and they never even called me back, out of courtesy,” he added. “It’s not very professional.
“I guess they have no way to validate that the message was actually transmitted, and if we all get sick, well, it’s too late,” Baade explained.
ECCFWSD general manager Bill Goheen said there was very little risk of water contamination. Triple-site microbial tests all came back negative for chloroform early Tuesday.
A test is mandatory to lift a boil water notice when water pressure is greatly reduced. In this case, the line was depressurized during the repair, Goheen said.
Residents and businesses were first alerted to the main break Friday through the city’s instant telephone alert system. That evening, a boil water notice was published through mass media.
Goheen said by the time the utility knew it would have to depressurize part of the system to repair the break, city hall had closed, and he couldn’t get a message out on the city’s instant call alert system.
The utility also used its phone master alert system, which was programmed to call customers within certain zones. However, the technology dials numbers one at a time, and transmits a recorded message.
“The board is looking at updating to one similar to that used by Gun Barrel City, which can blast out a transmission to large numbers of people at one time,” Goheen said.
The city issued a boil water notice Monday morning at the utility’s request.
The Environmental Commission on Environmental Quality gives utility districts guidelines for disseminating boil water notices. It suggests the use of mass media or door-to-door notification within the first 24 hours.
“We had too many customers to go door-to-door,” Goheen said. “I apologize we had a telephone system failure and some didn’t get contacted by phone.”
When the boil water notice was lifted, Goheen said the person at city hall who initiates the mass calling system wasn’t there, so he again relied upon mass media to spread the word, including the local newspapers.
“We are confident that the repair was made safely, as borne out by the negative testing results,” he said. Water service was restored at around 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Goheen told The Monitor shifting soil conditions resulted in a 12-inch main encased in steel to rest atop a cross six-inch water main below it at the State Highway 334 and Legendary Lane intersection.
Work crews isolated the area around the break, dug the trench deeper and lowered the six-inch water main another four to six inches, inserting two elbows set at 22 degrees, Goheen explained.
The water outage and subsequent boil water notice affected mainly the Mantle Manors, Harbor Point and Sandy Shores subdivisions, as well as locations on south Legendary and businesses in the area.

Drug arrests made
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reports the discovery of a drug lab Saturday on property fronting CR 2142.
Investigators seized more than 200 grams of methamphetamine in the manufacturing process.
Two deer hunters at CD Farms, west of Seven Points, detained two trespassers and then called the Drug Investigation Unit.
Donald Fesperman, 32, and Chad Coker, 30, were arrested at the scene for manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, more than 200 grams and less than 400 grams, a first-degree felony, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison.
Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Sue Tarrant set bonds at $50,000.
“We are finding more and more labs in vacant buildings and sheds,” Sheriff Ray Nutt said. He asks property owners to check their property for anything out of the ordinary, and if so, contact the Sheriff’s Office at (903) 677-6337.
A traffic stop on Harbor Point Road Nov. 30 resulted in the driver going to jail, when a search of his vehicle turned up a baggie containing a crystallized substance.
Andy Rubert Ruff Jr., 55, was arrested at the scene and taken to jail for a substance suspected to be more than one gram and less than four grams of methamphetamine. The offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in the state penitentiary and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
He was being held Monday in the Henderson County Jail under a $25,000 bond.
The traffic stop was initiated due to his failure to wear a seat belt.

Burglary cases solved
Kemp teen involved in Van Zandt burglaries
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has charged two men in connection with a burglary in the 1900 block of S. Tool Drive in Tool.
Several all-terrain vehicles and other items were reported stolen in the early morning hours of Nov. 25.
Investigator Kendell Wellman learned information connecting Scott Hall, 47, and Adrian Lewis Hipp, 44, with the theft.
One of the all-terrain vehicles was located in Kaufman County, reported as an abandoned vehicle on Farm-to-Market 3396, according to a press release.
Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Henry Ashford issued felony theft warrants on the men, and Hipp was arrested at his Gun Barrel City residence Dec. 1. Hall was arrested the following day at his Kemp residence.
Both men were released the next day on bonds set at $25,000 each.
Men connected to a Chandler habitation burglary were apprehended the same day while trying to transfer items from one vehicle to another in Smith County.
Around 4 p.m. Dec. 1, Smith County deputies detained three Hispanic males, who were shifting stolen property from one vehicle to another on a county road. Deputies located a rabies vaccination tag among the stolen goods, which was traced through the veterinarian to the owner.
The owner had contacted the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office about the burglary, and deputies were en route to his Chandler location when the tags were traced to the owner.
Smith County arrested the Hispanic males, Antonio Cornejo, 18, William Nava, 20, and Ibraham Hernandez, 17, in connection with the burglary.
Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office reports a CrimeStoppers tip has resulted in the arrest of Chad Eric Carby in connection with arson and burglaries occurring on VZCR 2314 Nov. 27.
The Monitor reported these burglaries Sunday, Dec. 5.
Thanks to assistance from family members, the 35-year-old turned himself in to Van Zandt authorities Dec. 1.
In addition, a 13-year-old juvenile was arrested at a residence in Kemp in connection with the series of burglaries, and is currently being held at the Van Zandt County Juvenile Detention Center.
Investigators recovered more than $50,000 worth of electronics, jewelry, firearms, tools and miscellaneous items from two separate residences located in Kemp and Van Zandt County.
The sheriff believes the recovered items will result in solving other burglaries in the area.


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