Broken pump drying up Smithville’s water supply

SMITHVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — With spring in the air, water use is spiking many places. But in Smithville, the timing couldn’t be worse.

The town’s primary water pump is broken, prompting the city to order emergency restrictions on water use. The limitations prohibit watering still-dormant lawns and washing cars at home.

Regular indoor use is fine, but some are going the extra mile to help out during the shortage.

“A few folks are limiting the number of showers they take, even flushing every other time,” said city manager Tex Middlebrook says. “Two gallons here and there, times 4,000 residents, it really adds up.”

Smithville’s secondary pump has half the capacity as the main pump, and even with reinforcement supplies from the rural co-op, Aqua Water, the town believes the restrictions are necessary.

The main pump was trucked to Houston on Thursday for repairs, but that could take days or weeks and restrictions will remain in place until it is fixed.

“As long as we can use our water indoors, we’ll be fine,” said homeowner Margie Sinclair.

Smithville will issue warnings to first time violators, but after that the fines could get hefty. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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