UPDATED | February 4, 2016 3:00 PM

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UDPATE: The Fort Worth Water Department is now distributing bottled water from two locations in the affected area:

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· V R Eaton High School, 1350 Eagle Blvd.
· Truett Wilson Middle School, 14250 Sendera Ranch Blvd.

Water is no longer distributed at Fire Stations 34 and 41.

Initially the Water Department received 2,000 cases of bottle water to distribute and will continue deliver to the affected area until the Boil Water Notice is lifted. Plans are in place to continue to provide water to students via the Northwest ISD.

The following map includes the distribution of water sites.

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Thousands of residents and businesses in parts of North Fort Worth are being told not to drink the tap water. The City issued a boil water notice a little after 2 a.m.

The notice will be in effect until at least Friday.

Problems with the water were caused after an operational error led to the draining of an elevated water tank, which resulted in a drastic drop in pressure in parts of the water system. The loss of pressure means harmful bacteria and other microbes could get into the water. City crews were out at daybreak, running tests to run for contamination.

Fort Worth Water Department spokeswoman Mary Gugliuzza explained, “What we have to do now is go out to that area and pull some samples on the water and run some bacterial testing. Those take 18 to 24 hours to run.”

Information sent out early Thursday morning explained that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires that customers be notified that water in the area is not fit for consumption and should be boiled prior to ingesting.

Residents are also being reminded that water used for cooking or making ice should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil. Gugliuzza said residents also, “…need to boil it for at least two minutes, and then allow it to cool before you consume it.”

The boil notice does not apply to water used for flushing, bathing or washing.

Before the sun came up tankers carrying 6,000 gallons of potable water, for filling containers, have set up outside Fire Station #34, located at 14101 Sendera Ranch Blvd., and Fire Station #41, located at 11400 Willow Springs Road.

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The affected area is bordered by Sendera Boulevard on the north, Willow Springs Road on the west, the Haslet city limits to the east, and Bonds Ranch Road to the south. It also includes the Trails of Fossil Creek and Fossil Hill subdivision.

Gugliuzza says water for the area wasn’t drained randomly. “The water was all sent out of the tank and not filled. The water wasn’t wasted or anything in this case… it was there, but because the tank was taken down we may have lost some pressure in parts of the system.”

A map of the area in far North Fort Worth where residents are being told to boil drinking water. (Source: City of Fort Worth)

A map of the area in far North Fort Worth where residents are being told to boil drinking water. (Source: City of Fort Worth)

Before lunchtime, dozens of people had made their way to pick up water and fill containers. Right now, the plan is to distribute one case of water per family.

Sendera Ranch Resident Jason Watt said things started off a little rocky, but quickly started running smoothly. “When I pulled up there was only two guys up here and it was cold. There were cars lined all the way up, so stopped to help.”

The boil water notice is also having a negative impact on some schools in the Northwest Independent School District. Parents who have children attending the schools below are being encouraged to send their kids to school with bottled water, if possible.

Saying that “the safety of our students and staff is the school district’s first priority,” administrators are changing operations at six Northwest ISD campuses –

  • V.R. Eaton High School
  • Truett Wilson Middle School
  • Sonny & Allegra Nance Elementary School
  • Carl E. Schluter Elementary School
  • J.C. Thompson Elementary School
  • Sendera Ranch Elementary School

The Northwest ISD maintenance department will arrive to campuses early and make sure that all water fountains, at the six impacted schools, are turned off.

The contracted food service company will provide breakfast and lunch for students on Thursday and Friday, by using prepackaged food. But administrators say there will be no fresh fruit or vegetables served and the coffee shop at Eaton High will only serve bottled beverages.

A public water distribution area will also be set up at both Wilson Middle School and Eaton High, to provide bottled water to residents in the area.

Another Sendera Ranch Resident, Nona McKenna, was grateful for whatever help she could get. “It’s super hard. I got up this morning and realized I only had two bottles of water in the house. So, gave one to the dogs, gave one to the kids and put a pot of water on to boil. It’s  still sitting on my stove.”

The loss of water will also mean a loss of profits for some businesses. All restaurants and food preparation areas in deli and bakery sections of grocery stores will remain closed until boil water notice is rescinded.

Officials have specified that business whose primary function is not food preparation such as nursing homes and daycare centers can remain open as long as they provide their clients with pre-packaged foods and only use water that is safe for consumption.

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