Water leaks continue to be a problem in Houston as summer approaches: 'We need water to operate'

Chaz Miller Image
Friday, May 12, 2023
Water leaks in Houston still high amid progress made
The City of Houston has been fighting water leaks in city pipes. While progress has been made, they're still behind.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The city of Houston has been making progress on repairing water leaks across the city, but they still have work to do based on numbers they've given Action 13 in previous reports.

In January, the city's public works department said it had more than 1,000 active water leaks in the city. As of May 5, that number has gone down to 207.

Michael Johnson, a deputy director in the city's public works department, told ABC13 in February that the city strives to have 50 or fewer active leaks on any given day.

Experts we've spoken with on the subject have told us all major cities have problems when it comes to leaks in water infrastructure. Still, Houston's was hit especially hard recently due to a combination of last summer's drought and last winter's freeze.

For example, there was water gushing into the street at the intersection of Bissonnet and Weslayan on Thursday, which the city told us was first reported to them on May 3.

They originally said they had until May 17 to repair it in a timely manner but ultimately sent crews to fix it Thursday afternoon following questions from ABC13.

Kriti Kitchen is located in a strip center behind that leak and had initially been told their water would be shut off while the leak was being repaired.

"We need water to operate," owner Mary Cuclis said when discussing her frustration with the ordeal.

The leak was ultimately fixed without any interruption to their service.

A spokesperson from the public works department sent information on steps they've been taking to ensure this summer's heat doesn't cause them to lose progress in their fight against leaks.

They said they're better-utilizing data to identify trends before leaks occur, looking into satellite-based leak detection, and working with vendors to update standards across the board.

That being said, despite multiple attempts this week, they did not make any officials available to answer any questions on camera.

You're urged to contact Houston 311 if you see a water leak you believe is the City of Houston's responsibility to repair.

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