As water service returns to more Lufkin homes and businesses while the city continues its recovery from this week’s winter storms, residents may find their immediate joy eventually dampened by questions.

City communications director Jessica Pebsworth responded to some of those concerns Saturday night.

Any brown water that may be coming out of faucets is from leaks, she said.

“With the pressure as low as it got, dirt got into the lines. It’s called back siphonage. Just running them a bit till it’s clean will do. That’s why we always flush after a repair.” 

The city is adding chlorine to the water to make it safe, and when the boil water notice is rescinded, “you’ll know it is,” Pebsworth said. 

While the city continues to urge conservation, asking citizens not to perform high-use water-related activities like washing their vehicles at commercial car washes until pressure has returned throughout the city’s system, the water is fine to wash clothes and bathe or shower, according to Pebsworth.

“Just make sure you don’t swallow shower water,” she said. “It’s important to remind kids of the same during bath time.”

Water for drinking, cooking and ice-making should still be boiled and cooled prior to use. Washing dishes, on the other hand, is a "tricky" situation, according to the city.

“If disposable dishes aren’t available, you should be careful,” Pebsworth said. “Dishwashers that get above 150 degrees are fine. Hand-washing is not encouraged. If you do, add a little bleach to the dish water.”

Any water for human consumption purposes should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes until the boil-water notice is lifted.