NOTE: As of Saturday morning, the city of Denton has canceled its boil-water alert.
As Denton residents remain under a 48-hour boil water notice, local business owners and residents have stepped up to donate free drinking water to community members in need.
Denton County Brewing Company filled containers for visitors from their 700-gallon tank of filtered, distilled water Thursday, and now have cases of water that are free to the community.
Residents can bring in containers to be filled up until 5 or 6 p.m. Thursday and between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. — or when people stop coming in — Friday, DCBC owner Seth Morgan said. People have been bringing in everything from mason jars to empty Mountain Dew bottles to pails to get water for drinking and washing dishes, as many have no water or limited means to boil water, Morgan said.
“We’ve had people from all over Denton and outside Denton saying their water is out and electricity is out so they can’t boil, and we were the only option they had for clean water,” Morgan said. “It’s typical Denton — word spreads pretty fast and people help each other. Sometimes we’re on the receiving end of help and sometimes we get to be on the giving end, so it’s been awesome.”
Next to DCBC, East Side Denton also filled water containers for residents Thursday afternoon.
DCBC has plenty of water left and, thanks to a group of community organizers, also has just over 200 cases of bottled water for giveaway. Denton business owners Randi Skinner and Katy McBride began an effort to get water to Denton residents this week. As other locals joined in, including Bearded Monk owner Ben Esely and Suzanne Johnson of The Chestnut Tree Bistro, the group raised about $4,000 and coordinated with Fisher 59 to pick up 600 cases for donation to nonprofit organizations and residents.
Dozens of community organizers, business owners and others, including John Williams, Mindy Arendt, George Ferrie and Kenneth Curran, showed up at Fisher to pick up and help distribute the water Thursday, Skinner said. The group donated to Our Daily Bread, Monsignor King Outreach Center, Good Samaritan Society, Denton County Friends of the Family and Rivera Elementary School.
“We just decided we would do something now to help fill the gap for the moment,” Skinner said. “We just couldn’t take not having access to one more thing, so even if we could help a few people, it felt like it was important to do.”
The water at DCBC is available for anyone to come in and get what they need, and residents can also drive through Bearded Monk to get water, Skinner said.
At Natural Grocers on University Drive, residents can receive up to 2 gallons of water at the store’s reverse osmosis filtration machines at no cost, according to a news release the company sent out Wednesday evening.
“The ultraviolet sterilization process used in Natural Grocers’ water dispensers disinfects the water with UV light designed to provide safe, high-quality water that does not need to be boiled before consumption,” the release states.
Residents will need to bring their own containers since the store is sold out, a staff member confirmed Thursday afternoon. The Denton location closes at 6 p.m. Thursday, but free water is available through February 23.