Boil advisory issued for some Saratoga Springs residents after pump shuts off

by Cathy Allred, originally posted on June 21, 2016


Saratoga Springs has issued a boil water advisory for residents who did not have water in their homes Tuesday morning.

“It’s advisory only. Right now we are not aware of any culinary water issues,” said Spenser Kyle, city assistant manager.

The State Division of Drinking Water contacted city staff Tuesday night recommending the boil water advisory for homes that did not have drinking water or in other words, had water down, in the morning because of the culinary water pump shut off.

Cautionary notices went out Tuesday evening through the city’s Facebook and Twitter sites.

“Things are getting better but it’s going to take time, at least the next couple of days,” Kyle said, and emphasized the advisory was a precaution only and standard policy for anytime a system loses pressure and water is reintroduced into the system.

Residents in south Saratoga Springs experienced low water pressure Tuesday in the city’s culinary water system.

Water pressure should be better by Wednesday, said Owen Jackson, city spokesman.

The city located a booster pump for the upper water tanks in the south that shut off early Tuesday morning. A switched-off pump caused culinary water levels to drop below normal.

According to a city Facebook post, Saratoga Springs has stopped supplementing the irrigation water with culinary water while the tank levels are being restored.

Officials say neighborhoods west of Redwood Road and south of Stillwater Drive will have lower secondary water pressure Tuesday evening, but the secondary water pressure should be restored by Wednesday.

“The lower elevation tanks were OK, but the higher tanks weren’t,” Jackson said. “The secondary irrigation water will be affected in the south because of the culinary issues there.”

According to the Facebook notice, water samples are being tested and city staff will receive the results in 24 hours.

While those who have lost water pressure have expressed angst about being asked to conserve water when they have none or very little, Kyle cautioned that it’s not the “have nots” who are the concern.

It’s those who see no problem with the water pressure in the lower areas of the community.

“One of the issues is not everyone is affected by it,” he said. “If everybody in the city was doing [water conservation] it would go a long way to helping the tanks back up.”

Secondary water is a separate and ongoing issue in Saratoga Springs. The city’s entire east side is bordered by Utah Lake and the Jordan River, but the problem is getting the supply to its residents.

There have been complaints before about the city’s water infrastructure. Tuesday’s water issues sparked another round of angry social media posts.

“Un-freaking-believable,” Cali Goff posted Tuesday morning on Facebook. “In the meantime, I’ll just forget about showering today and say a prayer that our toilets can manage to flush. Stop. Building.”

Some residents say the problem has existed for years and isn’t just a different well or pump down.

“Well here’s a surprise ….” Eric Bresee posted with biting sarcasm. The north Saratoga Springs resident had issues with his water pressure in late May.

“We’ve lived here for just over nine years and I don’t remember the last summer where we didn’t have some sort of water issue,” Bresee said three weeks ago after the well that feeds south Saratoga Springs failed.

Help is on the way, according to Jackson.

The city is working on long-term, as well as short-term, solutions to the water pressure issue for residents, including diverting water directly from Utah Lake, Jackson said.

“We have some secondary irrigation water projects coming online next year,” Jackson said. “We have accelerated them to improve the service to the south of the city.”

Those projects are being funded via revenues and bond proceeds.

Saratoga Springs has obtained a temporary water purchasing contract with Central Utah Water Conservancy District.

According to Jackson, the intent is to provide an additional water source until fall.

The additional water will help Saratoga Springs meet its water demands. CUWCD began water delivery Tuesday.

In addition, the city has been able to put secondary water infrastructure projects on the fast track to provide additional water sooner.

At an estimated cost of $3 million, a secondary water pump project in the south end of the city will be installed to directly pump water from Utah Lake. The project is scheduled for completion before the 2017 irrigation season begins, Jackson said.

A $1.8 million project will install an additional water source in the north and is also projected for completion for the 2017 irrigation season.

“We appreciate residents’ patience and conservation as we’ve worked to implement these additional measures,” Jackson said in the city’s Facebook update.

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