The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

March 1, 2013

Water pressure back up

City of Enid gets power restored to remote water wells

ENID, Okla. — After nearly four days of working around the clock to restore power to remote water wells, the city of Enid on Friday restored industrial water use and increased residential water pressure.

A blizzard that blew through northwest and north-central Oklahoma Monday night knocked out power to much of the region, including the city’s more-than 100 wells near Ames, Drummond, Cleo Springs and Ringwood.

Crews from the city, OG&E Electric Services, Alfalfa Electric Cooperative and Koch Nitrogen worked all hours Tuesday through Friday to connect more than 40 generators to the well sites near Ames and Drummond, in many cases cutting paths through snow drifts to reach the wells.

Industrial water use was cut off, and residential water pressure cut by half Tuesday to conserve water, as demand outpaced the reduced supply.

Crews on Thursday were able to complete attaching generators to the Ames and Drummond wells, while the Cleo Springs and Ringwood wells remained without power.

Enid City Manager Eric Benson reported Friday afternoon the city had turned the corner in its effort to restore normal water service to its customers.

He said by Friday morning the city’s storage reservoir on the east side was recharging at a rate sufficient to begin increasing residential water pressure.

The residential pressure was increased by about 2 psi per hour, Benson said, in order to prevent damage to the city’s water mains by increasing pressure too rapidly. Benson said Friday afternoon he expected residential service to be at full pressure by the evening.

By noon Friday, water resupply rates were sufficient to resume industrial water service.

Benson said industrial users agreed to a gradual restoration of service in order to prevent “slamming the system” and damaging the city’s industrial water lines. Industrial users were expected to be at full service Friday evening.

Late Friday afternoon the situation improved yet again when OG&E restored normal power to the Ames and Drummond wells.

But, the work was not done for city and utility crews.

With power restored to the Ames and Drummond wells, Benson said the work began to “leap-frog” generators to the Ames and Cleo Springs wells.

Benson said that task was hampered Friday by muddy roads and snow drifts that still blocked the path to remote wells.

Bulldozers were being used Friday afternoon to push through snow drifts and to drag trucks and generators in to the well sites.

City crews will continue the task today of connecting more than 30 generators to the Cleo Springs and Ringwood wells, while Alfalfa Electric Cooperative crews work to resume normal power.

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