Officials in Crystal City, Texas released students from school early on Thursday, Feb. 18, and advised residents to boil water after widespread reports of blackened tap water.
The city said in a statement that the blackened water—photos of which were spread widely on social media—stemmed from the cleaning of an elevated tank.
Specifically, the tank was drained on Wednesday, causing all the sediments to run through distribution lines.
The city said fire hydrants would be opened to help fully flush the tank.
For now, city residents are asked to boil water if necessary, and run the water for some time until it looks safe enough to use.
Meanwhile, students of all grades were released around 1 p.m. by the Crystal City Independent School District.
Superintendent Imelda Allen made the decision in lieu of city leadership.
“It’s certainly a concern, but I also knew that right now, there’s not really anyone in charge to oversee and to make people aware of the condition of the water. So I wasn’t going to wait for anyone to call me from City Hall. I know that leadership is not present at the time,” Allen told KSAT.
All but one of the Crystal City councilmembers are under federal investigation, while the mayor was recently released from jail.