Water problems troubling San Benito Family

Mary Lou Aceves, her husband Victor and two young children live at a home on South Austin Street in San Benito.

It's the home her husband grew up in and one where they never had major problems " until recently.

The couple said they are paying anywhere from $70 to $80 each month for water services.

However, they add their water has gone off at least four times within the past month.

"(Water) is something you take for granted (since) it TMs something you have every day, until it TMs taken away from you, Aceves said. You feel all angst, you feel like you need to wash your hands but have no water, (so) you TMre constantly thinking about it " ~I need to shower, I need to make my kids food, wash the dishes. TM

The worst part of it, Aceves adds, is that the city doesn't notify them whenever the service interruption occurs.

"If they are working on the pipes, let us know ahead of time, that way we can save buckets of water for cooking or bathing or whatever it is we need, Aceves said.

San Benito Assistant City Manager Hector Jalomo said the city has had more problems with this year, with water service breaks, but claims the issue is out of their hands.

In this area, the majority of the ground is clay so it TMs very expansive, Jalomo said. During the drought, the ground shifts and the majority (of the water lines), since this is the oldest part of town, are as best as cement, so they crack."

Jalomo adds that when pipes break, crews need to fix the problem as soon as possible and that TMs why there is not enough time to notify residents of the water interruption.

He said that would cost more time and money.

We don TMt have means of isolating every block (when there TMs a break), I don TMt think anybody does, Jalomo said. To go out there and notify everybody that's being serviced by that particular line, is going to take a long, long time."

San Benito residents will see increased water fees for the next three years to help pay for the new water and sewer plants recently built.

Aceves said if she TMs going to have to pay more for water, the city should at least do a better job of notifying residents of any water breaks.

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