An important update from Mayor Meek

water services and winter weather (2/18)

Good afternoon Waco friends and family,

It's Thursday, February 18th and I want to provide another  update related to Waco’s response to winter weather and ask once again for your help to ensure we all remain safe during this time.

Let me start with our most pressing challenge: Our Water Supply is critically low.  We are currently pumping all we can but the main problems we’re facing right now are leaks and high usage. We are pumping twice our normal daily usage and the system’s storage is sitting at a critically lose capacity.

While we don’t expect shutting off the water throughout the entire city, a community-wide boil water notice is imminent if demand doesn’t change.  Again, this demand is being caused by leaks around the city and high usage.

If the system conditions worsen, some areas may not have water at all, depending on water system pressures and elevation.  If system conditions worsen further, the fire department could not have adequate water pressure for firefighting. Our city staff has developed and continues to develop alternative methods of fire protection, but water is the critical resource to protect property in the event of a fire. 

Here’s what we need people to do today

For our Industrial and Commercial Users:

  • If you haven’t been to a building or facility you own or are responsible for in the last several days, we need you to safely get to your buildings to inspect them for leaks as soon as possible. Fire lines are particular problems right now.  If you can’t get to your building or facility but have video surveillance, check it. 
  • If there is a leak, turn off your water supply.  If you can’t turn it off, call 254-299-2489 and we will send someone to turn it off.
  • Car washes and laundromats are encouraged to stay closed through the weekend.
  • All businesses should cut your water consumption as much as possible, at least 50%. 
  • Restaurants should use paper plates and other disposable items rather than wash dishes.

For Residential customers:

  • If you have power to heat your home, open cabinet doors under sinks so heat can circulate to pipes.  
  • Don’t run washing machines or dish washers for the next 48 hours.
  • Everyone should stop dripping faucets when the temperature is above 32 degrees.
  • Check your plumbing for leaks. 
  • If you have a leak, turn off the water valve to your home.
  • If you can’t find the valve, call 254-299-2489 and ask for help turning off water.
  • Report noticeably, markedly lower water pressure to 254-299-2489. 
  • Our staff, as well as contractors we have procured, are working to repair leaks all over the city and, in order to do this, are having to cut water off in isolated areas in order to save system capacity and pressure. To date, there are approximately 300 customers without water.

    These are limited to areas where we’ve had main leaks and have had to valve off that small area.

  • Repairs will be scheduled for as soon as possible; our repairs are being prioritized in a way to maintain our water system; we apologize for any delay and are working around the clock to restore water everywhere.

Our city staff has worked hard to procure bottled water for residents that lose water; this is in process and an announcement on this, along with our distribution plan, will follow.  We will prioritize the distribution of bottled water to customers who have actually already lost drinking water.

Again, we do not anticipate having to shut off the water for the entire city, but a system-wide boil water notice is imminent if we cannot reduce demand for water by finding and resolving leaks and reducing consumption.

I want to thank our city staff, employees and personnel as well as independent contractors the city staff has procured, for proactively, safely searching for water leaks and working to resolve them.  The fact that almost all of our residents still have drinkable water in this moment is a testament to our city staff’s creative, diligent efforts.

If you see a water leak, call our Water Call Center at 254-299-2489. Spotting a water leak can make a major difference in this moment. If you see unexpected running water in drainage areas, creeks, or streets, please contact 254-299-2489.

Lastly, I wanted to give an update to other important City functions.

  • Our streets team continues to sand City streets. They are reporting icy conditions and advise you to reduce your travel as much as possible. If you must travel, please be very careful today. Our streets crews have been working around the clock this last week and are supplied to continue throughout the duration of the winter weather. Thanks to our street crews.  They will prioritize dangerous areas and are collaborating with our police department to locate these areas.
  • As a reminder, Solid waste services will not run today due to street conditions but know that we are planning additional runs in the next two weeks to catch up around town.
  • Our Police and Fire teams are still able to ensure our public is safe at this time. Thank you to our fire and police officers for all you are doing.
  • From an electric system standpoint, there are still thousands of homes without power in Waco.  I know this is very hard for everyone who has been without power and I’m sincerely sorry for what you’ve been through. While the City doesn’t have authority or control over electric power providers or repairs, we are advocating directly to electric utility representatives around the state on your behalf. We will continue to advocate to all the powers that be for rapid restoration of power in Waco. There are still 3,400 electricity customers in McLennan County that do not have power. That should continue to improve today and in the days ahead. And we will use our voice to advocate and ensure the statewide systemic failures that resulted in long term losses of power are resolved to keep this from happening again.
  • For our Waco residents without power or experiencing cold conditions in your home, please know we have warming centers available at 3 locations around Waco; including, the Dewey Community Center, South Waco Community Center, and St. Alban’s Church. Transportation can be arranged for trips to warming centers by calling 254-405-4247.
  • I have reached out to community leaders and community partners to help us support the clean-up and repair phase of this disaster.  We will be prepared to do all we can to support our community in the days ahead.
  • For matters related to COVID-19, please go to  We are still evaluating the ability to conduct our public vaccination  clinic this week. We will continue to update you on this website and other platforms.
  • For continued information and updates, please monitor the City’s Public Information Channels such as our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts as well as online at
  • A Spanish version of this video will soon be released by Mayor Pro Tem Hector Sabido as well.  Also, the script will be made available on the City website.
  • The City of Waco staff deserves honor. They have been working around the clock to address this local crisis – from sanding our streets, to responding to our water facilities, to setting up warming centers to so much more – behind the scenes they have been working incredibly hard to serve this town.  Thank you to our Waco city staff – Bradley Ford, Deidra Emerson, Paul Cain, Ryan Holt, Galen Price, Jennifer Richie, Esmeralda Hudson, our water department teams, our street crews, our police and fire departments, and so so many more – your brave and selfless efforts to keep our citizens safe is not unnoticed and we are grateful.  City employees have literally been away from their families for days, even Bradley Ford missing one of his kid’s birthdays to ensure our city is kept safe – to city employees and your families who are sacrificing, thank you.

Let’s be safe out there in the coming days.

Famous Waco resident Jules Bledsoe once said “In order to not pass out of this world forgotten in a few years… do some unselfish good… it does not take genius or fame or fortune… all it requires is a good heart and kindly spirit.”  Please continue to do that unselfish good: conserve water, check on your neighbors and provide support to your fellow Wacoans where you can.  There are so many stories I’ve heard of our community supporting each other; lets keep that up. Some of our neighbors do not have access to the internet, where much information is being distributed; if you are able, find creative, safe ways to ensure these folks are being communicated with. Let’s take heart and help one another.

An important update from Mayor Pro Tem Sabido

water services and winter weather (2/18)

Buenas tardes amigos y familiares de Waco,

Hoy es jueves, el 18 de febrero y quiero proporcionar otra actualización relacionada con la respuesta de la ciudad de Waco al clima invernal y también pedir una vez más su ayuda para garantizar que todos permanezcamos seguros durante este tiempo. Permítanme comenzar con nuestro desafío más urgente: nuestro suministro de agua es críticamente bajo. Actualmente estamos bombeando todo lo que podemos, pero los principales problemas que enfrentamos en este momento son las fugas y el alto uso. Estamos bombeando el doble de nuestro uso diario normal y el almacenamiento del sistema está a una capacidad de pérdida crítica. No esperamos cerrar el agua en toda la ciudad, un aviso de hervir el agua en toda la comunidad es eminente si la demanda no cambia. Una vez más, esta demanda está siendo causada por fugas en la ciudad y un alto uso. Si las condiciones del sistema empeoran, es posible que algunas áreas no tengan agua, según la presión y la elevación del sistema de agua. Y, si las condiciones del sistema empeoran aún más, el departamento de bomberos no podra tener agua para combatir incendios. Nuestro personal de la ciudad ha desarrollado y continúa desarrollando métodos alternativos de protección contra incendios, pero el agua es el recurso fundamental para proteger la propiedad en caso de incendio. Esto es lo que necesitamos que la gente haga hoy: Para nuestros companias industriales y comerciales:

o Si no ha estado en un edificio o instalación de su propiedad o del que es responsable en los últimos días, necesitamos que vaya a sus edificios para inspeccionarlos en busca de fugas lo mas antes posible. Las líneas de fuego son problemas particulares en este momento. Si no puede llegar a su edificio o instalación pero tiene video, revíselo.

o Si hay una fuga, cierre el suministro de agua. Si no puede apagarlo, llame al 254-299-2489 y le mandaremos a alguien para que lo apague.

o Se recomienda que los lavaderos de autos y las lavanderías estén cerradas durante el fin de semana.

o Todas las empresas deben reducir su consumo de agua tanto como sea posible, al menos un 50%.

o Los restaurantes deben usar platos de papel y otros artículos desechables en lugar de lavar los platos.

Para clientes residenciales:

• Si tiene energía para calentar su casa, abra las puertas de los gabinetes para que el calor pueda circular por las tuberías.

• No haga funcionar lavadoras de trastes o ropa durante las próximas 48 horas.

• Todos deben dejar de gotear los grifos cuando la temperatura sea superior de 32 grados.

• Revise su plomería en busca de fugas.

• Si tiene una fuga, cierre la válvula de agua de su casa.

• Si no puede encontrar la válvula, llame al 254-299-2489 y pida ayuda para cerrar el agua.

• Informe una presión de agua notablemente más baja a 254-299-2489.

• Nuestro personal, así como los contratistas que nuestro personal ha contratado, están trabajando para reparar fugas en toda la ciudad y, para eso, tienen que cortar el agua en áreas aisladas para ahorrar capacidad y presión del sistema. Hasta la fecha, hay aproximadamente 300 clientes sin agua. Estos se limitan a áreas donde hemos tenido fugas principales y hemos tenido que cerrar esa pequeña área con válvulas.

• Se programarán las reparaciones lo mas antes posible; nuestras reparaciones están siendo priorizadas para mantener nuestro sistema de agua; Pedimos disculpas por cualquier retraso y estamos trabajando día y noche para restaurar el agua en todas partes.

Nuestro personal de la ciudad ha trabajado duro para conseguir agua embotellada para los residentes que pierden agua; esto está en proceso, pero se hará un anuncio sobre esto, junto con nuestro plan de distribución. Daremos prioridad a la distribución de agua embotellada a las personas que ya hayan perdido agua potable. Una vez más, no anticipamos tener que cortar el agua en toda la ciudad, pero es inminente un aviso de hervir el agua en todo el sistema si no podemos reducir la demanda de agua mediante la búsqueda y resolución de fugas y la reducción del consumo. Quiero agradecer a nuestro empleados y personal de la ciudad, así como a los contratistas independientes que el personal de la ciudad ha adquirido, por buscar de manera proactiva y segura las fugas de agua y trabajar para resolverlas. El hecho de que casi todos nuestros residentes todavía tengan agua potable en este momento es un testimonio de los esfuerzos creativos y diligentes de nuestro personal de la ciudad.

Si ve una fuga de agua, llame a nuestro centro de llamadas de agua al 254-299-2489. Detectar una fuga de agua puede marcar una gran diferencia en este momento. Si ve agua corriente inesperada en áreas de drenaje, arroyos o calles, comuníquese al 254-299-2489.

Por último, quería actualizar otras funciones importantes de la ciudad.

• Nuestro equipo de calles continúa lijando las calles de la ciudad. Están informando condiciones de hielo y le aconsejan que reduzca sus viajes tanto como sea posible. Si debe viajar, tenga mucho cuidado hoy. Nuestros equipos de calles han estado trabajando las veinticuatro horas del día esta última semana y están preparados para continuar durante la duración del clima invernal. Gracias a nuestros equipos de calle. Darán prioridad a las áreas peligrosas y están colaborando con nuestro departamento de policía para ubicar estas áreas.

• Como recordatorio, los servicios de residuos sólidos no funcionarán hoy debido a las condiciones de la calle, pero sepa que estamos planeando carreras adicionales en las próximas dos semanas para ponernos al día en la ciudad.

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