SPEARFISH — Officials are asking residents to take steps to minimize water usage while the Young Well, which is one of two wells that supply the east end of town, is down for repairs.
“Due to the potential issues with fire flows and what can happen with a fire, we are in a pit that may be the risk, especially as we move into the summer season and we see a lot more use daily,” said Kyle Hinton, Spearfish’s director of public works during Wednesday’s city council study session.
The Young Well has been closed since Memorial Day when operators discovered a drastic drop in water flow. Hinton said city crews were able to determine that the problem was not caused by anything on the surface, leading them to conclude that it must have been a problem in the borehole. himself.
With no way of knowing exactly what needed fixing, Hinton used an emergency sourcing protocol to purchase all the parts needed to fix a wide range of potential issues.
“The exact problem could not be determined due to the deep nature of the subsoil,” Hinton wrote in his briefing package to the board. “In addition, many items that may be required to repair unknown damage have delivery times of several weeks (four to eight). In order to expedite the repair, it was necessary to order many items that could have potentially caused the purlin before pulling the column from the shaft. »
The cost of all items came to $198,923.05, which Hinton said was lower than the original estimate. He said the parts should be delivered by mid-July. At this point, Taylor Drilling Company of Rapid City, the company that originally installed the well, will determine what parts are needed and implement repairs.
“We’ll keep the old parts as backups in case there’s a problem in the future,” Hinton said.
Although the well has been shut down for more than two weeks with little to no disruption to services, the city is officially activating its water conservation program, moving to Code Blue alert status as a proactive measure and cautious until the well is back. and operating at full capacity.
“Right now it’s going to be fine with production and usage, but things are going to get pretty hot this weekend,” Hinton said.
The town’s comprehensive water conservation program, as posted on its website, states, “The Town of Spearfish Water Conservation Program is established under the direction of the Spearfish Common Council to assist in water conservation in the town of Spearfish. The intention of the program is to achieve compliance through education and public interaction, with an emphasis on the proper management of water resources and how it can directly save customers money. on their utility bill. Spearfish City Ordinance prohibits watering residential or commercial lawns between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Water Conservation Alert Status Indicators will be used to notify our customers of the current level of water restriction in the City of Spearfish. Alert status indicators will be posted in town buildings, on the town’s Facebook page, and on the Town of Spearfish web page. Information may also be disseminated through the Black Hills Pioneer, utility bill messages or special bill inserts, door hangers and any other communication strategies that may arise.
Here are the different alert statuses:
code blue — Voluntary water conservation alert. Guests are encouraged to practice water conservation. This includes irrigating lawns every other day (i.e. watering only on odd or even dates of the month)”
Code yellow – Mandatory retention alert. Clients are required to follow an irrigation schedule every other day. Even addresses can water on even days and odd addresses can water on odd days. Guests are encouraged to limit outdoor water use and minimize indoor water use. The Superintendent of Water and Wastewater Services, with the consent of the City Administrator and Director of Public Works, may move the city to code yellow. Council will be advised at the next regular council meeting.
code orange — Ration conservation alert. Guests are encouraged to minimize indoor water use and are required to limit outdoor water use. Mandatory water restrictions for municipal water use include:
• Outdoor irrigation is limited to vegetable gardens only between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Lawn irrigation is prohibited. Gardens can only be watered with watering cans/buckets or portable hoses with the nozzle closed.
• The use of water to clean, maintain, fill or recharge decorative fountains or similar structures is prohibited.
• Washing of vehicles, including automobiles, trucks, trailers and boats, from residential water taps is prohibited. Vehicles are exempt if cleaning is necessary to maintain the proper functioning and safety of the vehicle. Businesses providing vehicle wash services are allowed to maintain their operations.
• Washing of paved surfaces such as streets, roads, sidewalks, driveways, garages, parking areas and patios is prohibited. Moving to code orange requires a board resolution.
code red — Water conservation critical alert. Code red will be implemented in emergency situations, such as major damage to infrastructure (pumps, water pipes, etc.), severe forest fires in the area, large structural fires, breakdowns prolonged power surges or other catastrophic events. During a code red, municipal water may only be used for health and safety purposes. Guests are strongly encouraged to minimize indoor water use and are prohibited from any outdoor water use. It is expected that code red will be declared for a limited time until the water supply system can be stabilized. The Superintendent of Water and Wastewater Services, with the consent of the City Administrator and Director of Public Works, may declare a Code Red for up to 72 hours. A code red declaration of more than 72 hours requires a decision from the municipal council.
Newly installed sod lawns are except voluntary code blue retention practices and mandatory code yellow retention requirements for two weeks after the sod lawn is installed. There are no exceptions for newly installed lawns when the city moves to code orange or code red.
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