City's water situation improving; officials urge conservation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff report
Officials with the city of Salisbury said Friday that residents should continue to conserve water as efforts are made to repair electrical damage at the Yadkin River pump station.
But the situation is far improved over what it was Thursday night.
“I feel a whole lot better today than I did yesterday,” Jim Behmer, director of Salisbury-Rowan Utilities, said Friday morning.
The conservation measures were implemented Thursday after a loss of power at the intake prohibited the pumping of raw water to a city reservoir.
Behmer said a transformer at the pump station was replaced by Duke Energy. Other electrical damage to the station is continuing to be repaired.
“Duke has checked out the new transformer,” Behmer said. “Their part is done.”
He said an emergency interconnection with States-ville is functioning and Salisbury is receiving potable water directly into its distribution system.
Salisbury’s reservoir is being filled and Behmer said that support will bring the water levels back up. In addition, temporary diesel pumps are running to help fill the city’s reservoir.
Behmer said he’s optimistic the problem will soon be corrected.
“We’ll be working 24/7 this weekend to get it taken care of,” he said.
Thursday afternoon, city officials asked Rowan-Salisbury Utilities customers to initiate Level II mandatory water conservation measures. The Level II restrictions are not drastic. People are asked not to wash their cars, though commercial operations may continue.
The measures also ask customers to limit the use of washing machines and dishwashers and not leaving water running in households.
The city of Salisbury has promised to continue updates pertaining to the situation. Citizens and Salisbury-Rowan Utilities customers and users may call its office at 704-202-4660 and speak to Services Manager Patrick Kennerly.