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Evansville Water and Sewer Utility Lifts City-Wide Water Conservation Notice

Evansville Wastewater Treatment Plant on Waterworks Rd.
(Google Maps)

Last Thursday’s notice asking residents to conserve water due to the high number of water main breaks around the city is short lived as the department reports reservoir levels have returned to normal.

The culprit behind the breaks was Mother Nature and the brutally cold weather she swept across the Tri-State one week ago. Many experts said the well-below-average temperatures wouldn’t be what would cause the breaks, but the subsequent warm up that followed causing pipes to crack as the expanded back to their original sizes.

The other good bit of news according to the utility company is that they were able to avoid enacting a city-wide boil advisory thanks to the quick work of their employees. However, some areas of the city are under localized boil advisories due to water main breaks in those areas. The complete list of which can be found on the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility website.

The full statement released by the utility can be read below:

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Water & Sewer Utility (EWSU) has lifted the request for water conservation and thanks the community’s residents and businesses for their actions to use less water over the past few days. Water quality was never compromised as the Utility addressed various impacts to the system as a result of cold weather-related events over the past week. Today, reservoir levels at Evansville’s water treatment plant have returned to normal; however, water main breaks are likely to continue through the winter.

EWSU has responded to a record number of water main breaks – 99 already this year and 79 since the Jan. 9 conservation notice – in Evansville’s 600 miles of pipes. Nearly 50 EWSU employees, plus several contractors, have worked 1,200 hours addressing the water main breaks since extremely low temperatures hit Evansville a week ago. Since Thursday, EWSU has been tracking and reporting active water main breaks on its website: http://ewsu.com/index.aspx?page=3128. As of Monday morning (Jan. 13), there are 41 active water main breaks.

“Thank you to the many Evansville Water and Sewer Utility professionals who have been taking quick action and working day and night – and in challenging weather conditions – to repair numerous water main breaks throughout our City,” said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “As a result of those repairs, combined with vigilance over water quality at the treatment plant and conservation efforts by our community members, the City’s water quality was never impacted and we were able to avoid a citywide boil advisory.”

Although all EWSU filtration pumps are operating in good condition and the Utility’s tanks and wells are in good supply, EWSU Executive Director, Allen Mounts, said the Utility is still addressing water main breaks, which are likely to continue throughout the winter, and has issued boil advisories to a few areas. “Cold snaps put additional pressure on our water system,” Mounts said.

“We expect water main breaks to happen on a random basis throughout the city, more frequently in the winter months.”

Water main breaks can lead to water outages and a reduction or loss of water pressure, which can lead to the need for a boil advisory. Normally, a boil advisory lasts for at least 48 hours.

Quick tips during a boil advisory

Use tap water for:

• Flushing toilets

• Washing clothes (unless the water is cloudy)

• Taking showers (for adults and older children)

Use boiled water for:

• Drinking

• Preparing food; washing fruits and vegetables

• Making ice

• Mixing infant formula

• Brushing teeth

• Giving water to pets

Use extra caution:

• Most filters do not remove bacteria or viruses.

• When away from home, be aware of coffee makers, vending machines and soda dispensers with water line supply that may be under boil advisory notice.

• It is best to sponge bathe infants and toddlers with cooled water that has been boiled.

Call the Utility’s dispatch department at (812) 421-2130 if you see a water main break. Check out water main breaks on the Utility’s website: http://ewsu.com/index.aspx?page=3128 as well as boil advisories: http://ewsu.com/index.aspx?page=2885.

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