Elk Ridge residents worried about water restrictions after equipment failure

Posted at 9:50 PM, Jun 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 10:56:07-04

ELK RIDGE CITY, Utah -- Thousands are stuck worrying where their water will be coming from during the next few weeks after an equipment failure took out Elk Ridge City's main water supply.

On Monday, when the city found out something was wrong, they had to shut off the water. To conserve drinking water the city is asking residents not to water their lawns.

Wednesday afternoon, a handwritten letter was left on Rebecca Andersen's door. It was from the Elk Ridge Mayor, who was asking her to turn off the sprinklers that were watering her new lawn, which cost the family thousands of dollars.

“If this dies, the seed will wash away, the topsoil will blow away, and we have to start over, which we really can't afford at this point,” Andersen said.

But the mayor says it's a sacrifice the 3,500 residents in the city have to make.

“If we don't stop the watering, we will drain our two million gallons of water in a very, very short period," Elk Ridge Mayor Hal Shelley said. "That compromises the water we can have inside and puts us in a precarious situation for fire safety."

An equipment failure with the well's pipe bearings took out the city's main source of water. Now crews are bringing up 30 of these pipes to get to the bottom of problem that lies nearly 600 feet underground.

“We're bringing them up, we're evaluating them, we just shut the water down and we knew we had to have the residents help us out,” Shelley said.

For possibly the next five weeks, residents are asked to use water sparingly.

“We're going to get this done as quickly as we can,” Shelley said.

But even weeks could cost these neighbors their lawns.

“We're all losing thousands of dollars because of their problem, not being able to maintain the water,” Andersen said.

The city will have an emergency meeting Thursday to talk about issues and what’s going to happen moving forward. The mayor says the cost to repair the pipes is $60,000.