The City of Hico will virtually shut down for water improvements Monday, according to Lambert Little, city administrator.

Local restaurants and some businesses will close for the day because water will not be available to them.

"This is a major improvement to the system - the biggest improvement since the system was first installed," Little said.

Little said six new valves, which will control water pressure, will be installed through out the city beginning at 8 a.m. Hico citizens are expected to be without water until 5 p.m. when the system will be re-pressurized.

Little is encouraging citizens to collect enough water to last through out the day for drinking and washing and he said the Super S Grocery store has stocked up on bottled water in anticipation of the shut down.

Stephens Country Corner will have porta-potties available all day.

Little said the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department would be on hand with a 5,000 gallon tanker trailer for fire protection.

He said the City of Hamilton will be sending three employees to help with the renovations and Fambro Construction will also have a crew in from Stephenville.

When the water is turned back on it will not be safe for drinking and can only be used for showering, toilet flushing and washing, Little said.

Little said the bacteriological testing will take 24 hours and results are expected on the morning of June 20, and will determine if the water is safe for consumption. Little has arranged a recorded message at 254-485-3262 to begin on the afternoon of June 19 so citizens can call to get an update on the status of the water system.

Little is cautioning citizens to boil the water first before consuming.

"Once these valves are installed, we'll watch them to make sure there are no problems. Then we will pressure test and disinfect the new pipeline, which runs from the wells downtown to the new single-pedestal water tank," Little said. "Then we will test and disinfect the new single pedestal water tank. Then, likely the second week in July, we'll slowly bring the new pipeline, storage tank, and valves online. This is a huge improvement to our system. I appreciate how most citizens have been very cooperative and understanding