A water line break left Weatherford without running water for more than 24 hours during one of the hottest stretches of the year.
Fire Department Chief George Teague said crews worked overnight Tuesday to put a temporary pipe above ground. Teague, who's also emergency management coordinator, told The Associated Press that Weatherford could be on limited water supplies for up to two weeks.
Robert Hanna, Weatherford's assistant city manager, said more than half of the city's households had some running water by 3 p.m. He estimated that all households would have running water again by 11 p.m.
Hanna said the city will use the temporary pipe for two or more weeks. The town could stay under a boil order until Wednesday.
As service comes back on line, those in Weatherford are advised that the city is under a Stage 5 emergency water shortage and that they are not to use water to irrigate or wash vehicles or to pull from fire hydrants. Violators are subject to fines of up to $500 and possible loss of service.
Residents said they are having a hard time doing without the little things, such as morning showers, flushing toilets and brushing their teeth.
"My husband came down this morning and got five gallons of water to help me be able to take a bath," Linda Cooksey said.
Restaurants that had enough water pressure to flush toilets and wash dishes and complied with health codes were given the green light to reopen. But because Weatherford is still under a boil order, restaurants must boil water they plan to serve and cook with.
Local hotels were also authorized by the city to reopen, but are not allowed to use ice dispensers. But hotels said the financial damage has been done.
"We had to issue a ton of refunds -- at least 20, 25 refunds,"said Prem Panchal, general manager of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites.
He manages three properties in Weatherford.
"We had to close one of the hotels for the first time in 13 years," he said.
Those in need of water can pick up water at three Weatherford fire stations and the city library at the following times.
- Fire Station 1: 100 block of South Alamo Street between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Fire Station 3: North Service Road at 410 MM I-20 at E. Bankhead Drive between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Fire Station 4: 900 block of West Park Avenue between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Weatherford Public Library at 1014 Charles St. between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
The main 24-inch water pipe out of Lake Weatherford that feeds all the water tanks in Weatherford and surrounding areas pulled loose just after midnight Monday, the city said. The so-called "clear well" pipe pumps treated water to holding tanks throughout the town.
"This affects everyone that Weatherford supplies water to," Weatherford City Manger Jerry Blaisdell said. "This has been a catastrophic water failure on our system."
City officials called the pipeline break a freak accident.
"There wasn't anything wrong with the clear well," Hanna said. "It simply failed."
The city is looking for a permanent fix for the main line pipe.
"We'll be in the process of redesigning the clear well system so it's redundant," Hanna said. "It's now just a singular system. We'll have two opportunities, so if one fails, we'll still be able to provide water to the community."
Temperatures reached 106 degrees by mid-afternoon at Alliance Airport, and the National Weather Service expected afternoon temperatures to top 100 degrees every day for the rest of the week.
Nearby towns trucked in water to Weatherford. Hospitals, day cares and the Parker County jail ran on a limited water supply. Restaurants, car washes, pools and county offices in Weatherford are closed.
Residents are asked to limit water use to drinking, cooking and flushing the toilet.
City officials issued a boil order and warned residents to turn off water heaters:
- A notice for all to boil water to ensure the destruction of harmful bacteria and other microbes in drinking water.
- A warning to turn off water heaters as air will soon begin collecting in the pipelines and tanks, causing the heating element to no longer be surrounded by water. This poses a hazard and could cause overheating or failure. Gas-fired heaters should be turned to the "pilot" position and electric heater should be turned "off."
An emergency notice Monday morning on the municipal website advised the city's 27,500 residents of a "code red alert." The advisory from the Weatherford utility department said customers may be without water "for an extended period of time."
Get More: Weatherford's municipal website
NBCDFW's Susy Solis, Scott Gordon, Frank Heinz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.