February 2021 brought unprecedented snow, ice and freezing temperatures to Arlington and the rest of Texas. Conditions caused power outages, loss of heat and broken pipes. As Arlington business owners and residents work to recover from the effects of the storm, the City of Arlington has created an online hub of resources that can assist in that effort.
Within the site, you'll find information about:
- Food and water assistance
- Small business assistance
- Water/pipe damage
- FEMA disaster assistance
- Business and residential permitting information
- Housing assistance
- Insurance questions
- Other useful documents
UPDATE at 10 a.m. Feb. 20, 2021
The City of Arlington announces that the precautionary city-wide boil water alert has been lifted at 10 a.m.
Arlington Water Utilities’ laboratories reported this morning that all 22 tap water samples collected from sites across the city met Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requirements. Safety testing of water is required by the TCEQ after a drop in system-wide pressure such as the one Arlington experienced mid-morning Wednesday.
Arlington Water Utilities has worked diligently throughout the week to repair water line breaks on public infrastructure and conduct emergency water shut-offs for homes and businesses experiencing water line breaks to meet the community’s increased weather-related demand. Normal water pressure was fully restored on Friday morning.
UPDATE at 10:09 a.m. Feb. 19, 2021
Water pressure throughout Arlington returned to normal levels early Friday and laboratory tests are underway to determine when to lift a precautionary boil water alert. The city-wide boil water alert remains in effect until the results of water safety testing throughout the city’s distribution system are available, which are expected on Saturday.
Safety testing of water is required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality after a drop in system-wide pressure such as the one Arlington experienced mid-morning Wednesday. The City has had no indication that water quality was compromised. However, when pressure drops bacteria could enter the system through breaks in the pipes. The testing will confirm that the treated water prevented bacteria from entering the system.
"Eighteen hours after collection and lab set up is required for incubation and assessment of the samples," said Craig M. Cummings, Arlington Water Utilities Director. Cummings said the samples will be drawn from representative taps throughout the city. Arlington has 100 regulatory testing sites pre-determined in 22 sectors of the Arlington.
Areas with satisfactory results will have the boil alert lifted immediately. If sample results are not satisfactory, then retesting in that area will be required until results meet TCEQ requirements.
As treatment professionals and laboratory teams prepare to lift the boil water advisory, Arlington Water field operations crews were also working to repair four active leaks on water mains in the City. Those breaks have all been isolated using valves and water is not being lost from them, Cummings said. Arlington Water Utilities and the Arlington Fire Department also continue to respond to dozens of emergency water cutoff calls from homes and businesses where breaks have occurred. Several prior breaks in City water mains and breaks in private plumbing lines, especially larger fire suppression system supply lines, contributed to the drop in pressure on Wednesday. The City has also seen increased water use as customers drip faucets to prevent freezing pipes.
Boil Water Alert and Business Operations
The boil water alert impacts both residents and businesses, and that in turn could impact your business operation. Please see below the Texas Code governing situations like this:
In accordance with Texas Food Establishment Rule 228.252 Imminent Health Hazards, all food and beverage businesses currently under the boiled water notice from City of Arlington Water Department are not allowed to operate until the boiled water notice is lifted. Water from the tap used for necessary functions such as handwashing, food preparation, making ice, and washing dishes cannot be guaranteed to be free of hazardous bacteria that may increase the risk of illness. Exceptions to this closure notice are establishments that sell pre-packaged goods. Pre-packaged goods are items such as canned and bottled beverages, manufacturer packaged perishables such as "lunchables" or other such pre-made meal kits, and non-perishable packaged items such as canned foods and boxed goods.
Effective immediately, all preparation and sale of open food products must cease until the boil water alert is lifted. All establishments that do not have electricity or any running water whatsoever must cease operations immediately.
228.252 Imminent Health Hazard. (a) Ceasing operations and reporting. (1) Except as specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a food establishment shall immediately discontinue operations and notify the regulatory authority if an imminent health hazard may exist because of an emergency such as a fire, flood, extended interruption of electrical or water service, sewage backup, misuse of poisonous or toxic materials, onset of an apparent foodborne illness outbreak, gross insanitary occurrence or condition, or other circumstance that may endanger public health.
Arlington Water Utilities continues to work to produce enough tap water to meet usage demands, with the restoration of the system pressure expected within the next 48 hours.
To see previous updates and the City's boil water advisory, please visit: https://arlingtontx.gov/news/my_arlington_t_x/news_stories/boil_order_notice_feb_17_2021
The City of Arlington has compiled a Frequently Asked Questions page here for citizens to learn more about the boil water alert. It is available here: https://arlingtontx.gov/news/my_arlington_t_x/news_stories/boil_water_alert_faq
There is also helpful advice from the US Centers for Disease Control on boil water advisories here: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/emergency/drinking/drinking-water-advisories/boil-water-advisory.html
Shared in partnership with the City of Arlington.