Metro Water Services Urges Affected Residents To Stop Irrigation Immediately

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Metro Water Services Urges Affected Residents To Stop Irrigation Immediately

CREATED Aug 1, 2014 - UPDATED: Aug 1, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Water Officials have urged all customers affected by a water disruption due to a major pipe failure to cease irrigation immediately.

Friday, officials said temporary pumps helped the water system begin recovering overnight. However, they said irrigation use Friday morning was causing pressure to drop again.

Sonia Harvat, Manager of Strategic Communications for Metro Water Services, said crews have completed building a third temporary pump, in hopes of maintaining water pressure throughout the city while the repair work continues.

“One thing people don’t realize, you have to pump the water five times here in Nashville to get it to those highest points,” said Harvat. “We have to fill the lowest reservoirs and then pump it back up.”

Officials advised residents to maintain their winter-time usage plans in hopes of maintaining pressure and getting water to the most severely affected areas. As of Friday afternoon, some of the higher elevated areas, including Northumberland, were still having difficulties getting water.

Unless more problems are encountered, Harvat said the repairs should be completed within the next week.

On Thursday, city officials implemented a strict no-irrigation policy for some 15,000 customers in the Green Hills, Forest Hills, Oak Hill and portions of the Crieve Hall area.

“In order for all homes and businesses to have sufficient water pressure, we are now implementing a strict no-irrigation policy in the affected area until permanent repair work is complete,” Mayor Dean said Thursday morning at a press conference. “People who don't abide by this policy are hurting their neighbors and fellow Nashvillians by using water others need for essential uses.”

Officials said many customers in the affected area have close to normal water pressure. Some at high elevations have reported a reduction in water capacity.

Those residents in the affected area have been asked to only use water for essential needs, such as drinking, cooking and bathing, in order to ensure all customers have sufficient water pressure.

Metro Water Service crews located the break Wednesday morning in a 30-inch water main that connects Metro's pumping station at Thompson Lane to numerous other stations that serve Green Hills, Forest Hills, Oak Hill, and portions of Crieve Hall.

Metro Water crews worked throughout the night installing temporary fixes that include bypassing that station, and officials said they will soon hire a contractor to repair the pipe. However, they said the permanent fix could take several days.

"We're making adjustments in the system to bring water in from parts of town that aren't affected as well as from other utility districts in the surrounding area. [Thursday] morning we were able to open up a connection with Harpeth Valley Utility District to bring in more water. So we're hoping to get ahead of this," Kennedy said by phone Thursday morning.

"There are water mains that break every day and in the normal course of events repairs are very simple. This happened to be a particularly bad one at a particularly bad location," he added.

Specific areas affected by the outage, included portions of Davidson County that are south of Interstate 440 and north of the Williamson County line, between Harding Pike and Highway 100, west of Interstate 65. Neighborhoods in the Crieve Hall area, east of I-65, were also impacted by the outage.

"If we have good cooperation and good help from the public, our goal is to get the system recharged and as close to normal until the permanent system is in place," Kennedy stated.

Officials said Thursday that they had distributed an estimated 11,000 bottles of water to 340 households since 5 p.m. Wednesday when two water distribution centers were set up at Hillsboro High School and Crieve Hall Elementary School. Those will remain open 24 hours a day until water service is fully restored.

Those in need of bottled water who are unable to make it to the distribution centers, such as the homebound or elderly, can also call (615)862-8750 for more information.

The Emergency Operations Center was partially activated at 5 p.m. Wednesday in an effort to coordinate the various Metro agencies involved in the restoration project.

The Mall at Green Hills temporarily closed Wednesday due to the outage, but reopened around 5 p.m.

The broken pipe, located in a wooded area behind the Home Depot on Powell Avenue, is a pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe (PCCP) that was installed in 1973 when I-65 was constructed.

Metro Water will be replacing a full length of the pipe.

Anyone with questions or concerns was asked to call (615)862-8600.