The city of Galveston will enter water restrictions Monday afternoon and mainland communities may switch to well water supplies as the Gulf Coast Water Authority prepares to assess a leak in a pipe at the intersection of Interstate 45 and state Highway 146.
The leak, discovered Oct. 31, isn’t a big one, General Manager Ivan Langford said.
The leak will take at least several days to repair, and there is a possibility that it could take into December to fix, officials said Friday.
The pipe provides water to Galveston, Hitchcock, Santa Fe, Tiki Island and Bayou Vista, as well as parts of La Marque, Dickinson, and League City, he said.
“The strong north winds are going to be beneficial because it will push the tidal waters out and help facilitate the excavation when we get ready to do it,” Langford said.
Crews won’t know how big the leak is or how long it will take to repair until next week’s assessment, he said.
To do this, the authority will shut down the line and will supply the affected communities through other pipes, Galveston City Manager Brian Maxwell said.
In advance of the survey, the city of Galveston will be under mandatory water restrictions from 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, he said.
“They have a secondary line that they just got commissioned where they can re-feed a certain amount of water back around Highway 6,” Maxwell said. “They cannot move the quantity that we normally get.”
This time of year, the city uses about 8 to 10 million gallons per day, he said. He estimates the backup supply can bring about 4 to 6 million gallons per day, he said.
The difference will come from reserves in tanks, but the city also is also asking people to avoid watering their lawns and to take other precautions to reduce water, Maxwell said.
La Marque officials are still unsure if the city will need to enter water restrictions or shift to well water, city spokeswoman Colleen Merritt said.
People should be prepared for such changes though, she said.
How long the repairs will take will determine when the authority decides to carry them out, Langford said.
“Our plan is to have this completed before Thanksgiving,” Langford said.
But if crews discover next week that repairs will take longer, Maxwell anticipates the authority will delay until the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, he said.