25 Jan Water Update
This is lengthy but for those interested, this is a fairly comprehensive download on countywide water issues - where we are today and how we’re preparing for the future. A lot of people are without water, and the only words they want to hear are “water is restored.” After over a week without running water frustrations are mounting – completely understandable.
But if anyone wants to speak intelligently on our water issues, I hope this list is helpful.
• Best source for real-time info is being disseminated via social media: https://www.facebook.com/cityofpulaskitngovernment. Whatever is being posted there is being immediately shared w/ the utility districts and local media. • Let’s open with nobody in Giles County has “county water.” We have county-wide water, but that’s different from a county water system. That doesn’t mean the county isn’t involved in improving our water systems. But the dialogue has to start with how our water is sourced and distributed.• We essentially have one water source – the Pulaski Water Plant. All four water utility districts are daisy-chained into that one source. We occasionally get water from Limestone County, but that source may not be dependable long-term.
For now, though, Limestone County supplies some water to South Giles, and Lewisburg supplies Fairview for part of the Lynnville area. • The daisy-chain configuration is our Achilles Heel; i.e. if Tarpley Shop has no water, then neither do many parts of South Giles. Minor Hill & Fairview fare similarly.
Succinctly, we don’t so much have a water availability problem, we have a water distribution problem, and have for a long time.
In my opinion, we don’t have near the isolation valves and cross-connects that we should (ideally) have. • Kudos to Mayor J. J. Brindley for getting all the water experts together in one room this morning for a meeting.
Emphasis was on restoring water and coordinating public messaging.
From Day One of the snow storm, we’ve had a strong team of capable people working around the clock on our water issues. • City officials and utility districts are focused on the “right-now” … yes, there are long-term needs, but we’re trying to improvise and overcome to get water pushed out into the county, particularly Tarpley Shop.• Nobody can overcome physics: The city must fill the Magazine Road tank to 13’ in order to gravity-feed downstream.
The tank level since yesterday afternoon has been rising. This is an aspect of the daisy-chain challenge. • There are too many variables to estimate when water can be restored. E.g. There are numerous unoccupied homes/outbuildings with leaks. Utilities have been working hard to locate and secure those leaks. At this point we don’t appear to be dealing with system leaks as much as customer leaks.
Another variable – incessant rain makes water treatment more time-consuming. I.e. Heavy rain isn’t helping matters. • Bobby Page (South Giles) and I have asked about the possibility of rolling water outages, similar to “rolling blackouts” when the grid is overwhelmed. Specifically, if the city or other areas could absorb outages for a few hours, might this help divert water to the Magazine Road Tank? City officials are looking into that possibility.• Many constituent brainstorming ideas are well-meaning but not feasible; e.g. a fleet of water tanker-trucks to supply water, or providing mobile shower units.
However, after hearing everyone’s ideas in this morning’s meeting, everyone needs to know that people who know the intricacies of our water systems are busy improvising work-arounds to move water to critical tanks.
Last, I thank everyone who has been calm and cordial, who recognize that good people are doing their utmost to correct our problems, and who have been out and about helping neighbors and community.
The measure of a community is how we respond to hardship; Giles County is a wonderful place to live because people are resilient, reasonable, and generous, especially during hard times.
Please continue to pray for the men and women who are out serving, responding, repairing … their devotion to duty is commendable.
top of page
bottom of page