'There's no water': Magnolia water issues prompt extension to 2022 building moratorium

Tom Abrahams Image
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Magnolia residents go with little to no water amid building moratorium
The Magnolia City Council issued another ordinance prolonging a temporary development moratorium due to the city's water facilities being at capacity.

MAGNOLIA, Texas (KTRK) -- It will be at least until December before the city of Magnolia approves new connections for water and sewer. That will make it one year since the city stopped new permits because it does not have enough water for those already living and working in the area.

Kathy and Chuck Connell moved to Magnolia two years ago from Minnesota to be close to their grandchildren. They love the neighborhood. They don't love the water.

"(There's) very, very low water or no water," Chuck Connell said. "There are a lot of days you get up, and there is no water."

It's so bad in parts of the city that in December 2022, the city stopped new water connections for 120 days. In April, they extended it until this month. And then last week, they extended it another four months.

RELATED: Magnolia City Council approves ordinance enacting temporary development moratorium for 120 days

Audrey Amirinian moved here in May 2022.

"We really loved the Magnolia area because it is a growing and upcoming area," she told ABC13.

Water was a problem a month after they unpacked.

"I've noticed that a lot of the times when people are complaining about the water issues, it's during the times of day when people commonly run their sprinklers," she said.

Chuck Connell said the city, which continues to grow with construction approved before the moratorium, should do what's right.

"I think until they get this water thing under control, they have got to stop all building," Connell said. "I hate to say that because that's how you grow - is with building. But, we were supposed to have a new well by the end of May. It's still not totally online. "

The city is building multiple wells, but it's behind.

In May, officials posted on the city website saying, "Although we are very, VERY close, we are still not accepting water/sewer applications/payment, releasing water meters or making new connections at this time."

Later in the month, another delay was posted.

RELATED: City blames rapid growth for Magnolia residents' complaints over dirty, unreliable running water

"We are concentrating heavily on reaching a place where we are confident in the stability of our wells to be able to begin issuing new connections. Unforeseen circumstances have occurred within the last 2 weeks, pushing our goal date further than anticipated," the city's site says.

In the meantime, whether residents have water pressure or any water at all is hit or miss.

Kevin Corcoran moved into his new home two and a half years ago. He said he noticed the water issues almost immediately.

"You wake up a lot of mornings and have no water at all or very little water, so you can't take a shower," he said. "It's ridiculous, and it's been going on for a long time."

Eyewitness News reached out to the city directly, but the city administrator was not in on Tuesday, and neither was Mayor Todd Kana. ABC13 stopped by the mayor's business in Conroe, but he was not there and has not replied to the request for comment.

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