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The Odessa water outage underscores a growing problem: Aging pipes in Texas cities are getting more fragile

Texas had 3,866 water boil notices in 2021, the most in the last decade. Aging water systems threaten water supply and quality — and for many small towns across the state, they won’t be cheap to repair.

Lightning from a passing storm strikes in the vicinity as City of Odessa Water Distribution employees work through the night to repair a broken water main Tuesday, June 14, 2022 in Odessa. According to Mayor of Odessa Javier Joven, repairs were completed around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday.
A large crack runs the length of a broken water main pipe after City of Odessa Water Distribution employees work to repair the broken line Tuesday, June 14, 2022 in Odessa. According to Mayor of Odessa Javier Joven, the line has been fixed since around 3:45 a.m. and the system is beginning to pressurize slowly.

Smaller cities, bigger challenges

City of Odessa Water Distribution employees work through the night as they attempt to repair a broken water main Tuesday, June 14, 2022 in Odessa. According to Mayor of Odessa Javier Joven, repairs were completed around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday.

No silver bullet 


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