Texas city residents could drink tap water again

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. scorching / skɔr tʃɪŋ / (adj.) – very hot

    Please drink lots of water since it’s a scorching summer day.

  2. send off / sɛndˌɔf / (phrasal v.) – to send something by mail

    The secretary sent off the documents yesterday.

  3. approach / əˈproʊtʃ / (v.) – to come close to a number, level, quality, or condition

    Temperatures in the city approached -10 degrees Celsius this week.

  4. main / meɪn / (n.) – the largest pipe in a system of connected pipes

    The workers do a monthly check of the main to prevent any interruption in the water supply.

  5. disinfect / ˌdɪs ɪnˈfɛkt / (v.) – to clean something by killing the germs and bacteria in it

    We use chlorine to disinfect the water in the pool.


Read the text below.

Residents of the West Texas city of Odessa who have been without safe tap water amid scorching temperatures may be able to drink safely straight from the faucet, city officials said June 17.

Samples from the Odessa area water utility pipes were sent off for testing, said Odessa Public Works Director Thomas Kerr. If the test results come back clean, the city’s weeklong boil-water notice could be lifted by 1:30 p.m. June 18, he said.

Temperatures approached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in Odessa daily this week as Texas and much of the United States faced extremely hot and humid conditions. And while the city typically sees hot weather in June, the timing of the break made dealing with the heat more difficult.

The city said taps in 165,000 homes and businesses lost pressure or went completely dry after a 24-inch (61-centimeter) main broke June 13 afternoon. Odessa’s water treatment plant was back online by about 8 a.m. June 15, but workers have conducted a “recharging” process since then, slowly adding water volume to the system to ensure there are no more leaks.

In the meantime, customers have relied on bottled water to consume and cook with, and boiling to disinfect whatever water came from their faucets.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The timing of the break made dealing with the summer heat more difficult for the people of Odessa. What do you do to deal with very hot temperatures? Discuss.
  • How would you rate the water management in your area (ex. poor, average, excellent)? Why do you think this is so? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Is water resource a problem in your area? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may be facing water shortages. What do you think would happen in the future if there isn’t enough drinking water (ex. water will be imported across countries)? Discuss.