The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 26, 2013

Prudent residential usage urged to keep city from running out of water

Staff reports
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Following Monday’s blizzard, the city of Enid suspended service to all industrial clients Tuesday and officials are urging prudent residential usage to keep the city from running out of water Wednesday.

Industrial users Koch Industries, AdvancePierre and Oxbow Calcining were shut off at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Enid City Manager Eric Benson said.

“We need the same out of our citizens,” Benson said.

Blizzard conditions interrupted power to electric-driven pumps in well fields in Drummond, Ringwood and Cleo Springs, Benson said. That electricity doesn’t come from OG&E Electric Service but from rural electric cooperatives.

On Tuesday, the city ordered 10 specific generators from Dallas to arrive before dawn Wednesday. Benson said the plan is to use the generators to put some of the city best-producing wells back into service to recharge storage capacity.

Meanwhile, Benson said residential pressure is reduced intentionally.

Due to 2 feet of knee-high snow, Steve Kime, director of marketing and public relations for the city of Enid, said OG&E anticipated Enid’s water flow wouldn’t return to normal until late Wednesday or into Thursday. The situation “could really present some challenges in the community,” he said.

Normally, 65 to 85 wells are operating. Currently, eight to 10 wells are up and running in Garfield County, giving a cushion “by the skin of our teeth,” Benson said.

OG&E and Vance Air Force Base have been working with the city and other electric cooperatives to remedy the situation. Benson said he is “very optimistic” considering OG&E’s critical improvements.

“In that case, we would still need some cooperation from the citizens of Enid to not over-use water,” Kime said.

Additionally, the city took a temporary generator to tie into a storage facility in the Ringwood/Drummond area. This will be pumped to Enid holding tanks at a slower rate than normal, Benson said.

If the game plan works, “we think we can hold our own,” Benson said.

According to Oklahoma Water Resources Board figures, about 87 percent of Enid’s water comes from the Cimarron River Aquifer, drawn from more than 100 wells around Ringwood, Drummond, Ames and Cleo Springs.