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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Kennedale Councilman Josh Altom shares information on water issues

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By Josh Altom, Place 2, Kennedale City Council

As everyone knows, water is a major topic as of lately. Has water become equivalent to Gold? In Kennedale it sure has.

Look, I and others on the council certainly understand your frustrations with all the water issues. I wish we had the answers to all your questions but to be honest we don’t.

We never imagined this transition would be so time-consuming and bumpy along the way. Now, we are not in the clear but certainly closer to drinking that magic liquid gold from Arlington.

Let me try and explain exactly where we’re at. I’m going to start back a little for those new to the scene.

Water has always been an issue in Kennedale for as long as I’ve lived here. Kennedale has and still does purchase water from Fort Worth as well as have operating wells within city limits.

The plan has always been to shut these wells down and rely solely on a city water source. We can all agree the water tastes horrible and can’t wait for the day we can drink straight from the kitchen faucet.

Long story short, the billing company we were using, straight-up, closed shop on not just us but several major cities within the United States. Thank goodness we were in the beginning stages of switching to Arlington anyway. Other cities were not as fortunate and were left out to dry.

On our end, all the puzzle pieces were lined out but not ready to be placed in their correct locations just yet. This created a scenario that took quick action on our part. We decided two things needed to happen.

We needed to rapidly get a new temporary billing company on board and second new meters. New meters were needed because Arlington’s formula for reading would not work on those particular meters. It’s like AT&T and Verizon. They don’t work with one another. Every meter in the city had to be replaced and we currently are in that process.

Yes with that many being replaced we will encounter issues as you’ve witnessed. We’ve encountered meter reading issues as well as billing. Obviously, this could never happen without some sort of hiccups or we would live in a perfect world.

Let me also say that ALL sides are working extremely hard on getting this completed. I want to personally apologize for any inconvenience this has bestowed upon anyone.

I’ve done my best to get resolutions to your issues as fast as possible. So here we are and what to expect.

Currently, Arlington is diligently working to get us up and running. Several areas within the city will have main connections to Arlington. Actually, right now we are connected in three areas but the valves cannot be turned on.

One major reason is we need to have the blessing of TCEQ. Another reason is per Fort Worth, we have to use a certain percentage of their water until we transfer. Several other areas are needing connections as well but the pipes cannot handle the pressure. Pipes will need to be replaced.

In regards to pressure, Falcon Wood is one of the areas with major pressure issues. When we do begin receiving water from Arlington you will see an increase in pressure. (Yay)

What’s the timeline? We just aren’t sure as of now but think we will be fully connected to Arlington and they take over all billing by around February. Cross your fingers.

There are just so many surprises and unknowns for a concrete answer. If you think your experiencing billing problems or have any questions about the water situation please contact me.

I’ll try and answer your questions and if I can’t I’ll get you to the correct person.

Thank you again for your patience as we navigate through this difficult transition. I hope this may have answered some of your concerns. Also please listen into Tuesday’s Council meeting.

We are attempting to have an Arlington representative update council on the water and where we are at.

Josh@cityofkennedale.com

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