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Texas town without water in heat wave

  |   Aug. 8, 2011 at 9:30 PM
KEMP, Texas, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Kemp, Texas, had to shut off its water system due to 37 days of triple-digit temperatures depleting the town's water supply, officials say.

The Sunday afternoon shutdown was to give the town's aging water system time to refill its reserves, WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

The hot weather has caused 14 major water mains to break in the past three weeks, which has drained the city's water reserves, the TV station said.

Kemp Mayor Donald Kile says the old infrastructure has a lot to do with the problem. The local water treatment plant was last replaced 40 years ago, and a lot of the town's 30 miles of pipelines were installed in the 1930s and haven't been updated in years.

"It's sad to say, but it's poor planning," said Kile, who was elected mayor recently. "When they put that water treatment plant in, they should have implemented something then ... . It just wasn't ever done."

Local residents expressed their displeasure with the situation.

"You tell them this old woman is hot down here -- and not just because of the heat!" Kay Bloomfield yelled at a utility worker who gave her a notice of the water shutdown.

Clyde Scott, who relies on the city water for his ranch that houses 31 horses and his family, said he also was upset about the water shortage.

"They told me they can't fill me up with water. I've got seven kids ... . We can't be without water!" he said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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