Water outages forcing local business to close frequently

BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) - Imagine having no running water for hours at a time. That's what some local residents and a business owner in north Brazos County say is happening in their community.

"Oh honey, they come out here for these old fashioned greasy burgers,” said Retha Valero of Top of the Hill – Greasy Burger.

"We do those burgers just like they used to make burgers a long time ago,” said Valero.

Top of the Hill brings fans from far and wide to the burger joint just to get a taste.

"They don't mind that trip from town. It's a nice ride,” said Valero.

But lately, because of water outages, it hasn't been a nice customer experience.

"And guess what? There is a sign on the door saying there's no water. That is the most disappointing,” she said. ”You just get so frustrated because you can't do anything about it."

Friday the water at the restaurant was shut off. Customers were turned away and employees were sent home. Valero says it happens multiple times a month.

"Last week it was two days,” she said.

The company that controls the water, Gulf Utilities is based out of Cypress. Michael Williams, Vice President of Operations, told KBTX Friday's outage was because of a contractor who ripped a line out of the ground.

Williams could not confirm any other recent outages. He says the summer months are peak "leak season," when the heat causes the ground to shift.

Valero says each time it happens, they get a different story.

"We have to plan like that all the time living out here,” she said. “We do not know when our water's going to be on or when it's going to be off."

Other residents in the Benchley area reached out to KBTX with similar outage claims. Those customers are on the Wellborn Special Utility District system.

Officials with WSUD say in the last month there have been two main breaks. They have not yet provided a timeline for repairs to damaged lines.