The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 27, 2013

City of Alva 'kinda' has water, city manager says

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Alva residents are “kinda” without water, said City Manager Joe Don Dunham.

“We have water ‘kinda,’” Dunham said. “We have electrical issues in the wellfield, and those issues are now critical.”

According to Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s website, the school closed its campuses today, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. Northwestern said Alva is without water due to issues with its water well pumps.

The city is experiencing supply issues from their water pumps in the field, resulting in an inability to get the water to town. From the wells, the water travels from the waterfield into Alva to the towns storage tanks. Part of the wellfield is served by OG&E and part by Alfalfa Electric, Dunham said. A Western Farmers substation went down Tuesday because of the snow.

“To my knowledge, it came back up late yesterday. I talked to Alfalfa Electric this morning and when they throw the circuits on it throws it back out,” Dunham said. There are lines down between the pumps and the substation, and crews cannot reach the area due to the snow, he said.

Dunham hopes the company will be able to get operations back within the next few hours, but he said the company made no guarantees. Alva has been operating on reserves from its storage tanks for the last two days. A portable generator became operational Tuesday night and a second one operational Wednesday morning.  

Those two will have about half the wellfield operational. City crews are evaluating whether to go get a third generator to make things more comfortable, Dunham said.

One of the generators is owned by the city of Alva, and a second one is being rented. A third generator could be obtained from a local business.

“We’re trying to stay on top of it as we can,” Dunham said. Some of the information came to him late, and some of the roads are difficult to pass through, he said.

The city currently has low water pressure, but Dunham said the residents are “getting along.” Considering the weather and the road conditions, Dunham said city crews reacted as quickly as they could.