Warrenton city officials Tuesday night said mandatory water conservation measures might be lifted later this week once a well pump replacement project is complete.
Once the new pump at Well No. 6 is operating, Mayor Jerry Dyer anticipates that the municipal pool and commercial car washes could reopen. He said the city would likely revert to voluntary conservation measures at that time.
Warrenton and Truesdale officials instituted mandatory measures on July 5 to reduce water usage in both cities. Those efforts were deemed necessary due to declining levels in the water table.
Dyer had hoped that the new pump would have been installed by the time Tuesday night’s board of aldermen meeting was held. However, delivery of new pipes that were to be installed as part of the project to lower the new pump into the well was delayed. The piping was expected to be on the job site Wednesday morning.
The new pump will be lowered by around 160 feet into the 1,200-foot deep well so that it can operate more effectively. The entire project is costing the city approximately $87,000.
As long as the mandatory water restrictions are in place, residents are prohibited from watering lawns, washing vehicles, machinery or other equipment or outdoor surfaces and filling swimming pools.
The city also has shut down its coin-operated bulk water station on Ashland Avenue and is no longer operating the booster station located in the south end of town, which reduces water pressure for some areas.
“I think all in all (residents) have been very supportive,” Dyer said. “They don’t like it. We would like it to end, too. A lot of people have suffered. Lots of people have lost sod, their lawns, lost trees, shrubbery, flowers; I understand that. The car wash people are complaining because they’re losing business. We would rather not be in this situation, but we’re all making the best of it.”
Warrenton officials appreciate the cooperation of residents in helping reduce their water consumption.
“Unfortunately, we’re not the only town or area having this issue,” Ward 1 Alderman Phil Tallo said. “It’s a drastic measure we had to take, but something we had to take.”
Truesdale, meanwhile, was able to lift its mandatory restrictions last Wednesday, July 11, though city officials are continuing to ask residents and businesses to reduce their water usage on a voluntary basis.
The change was made after both of the city’s wells were tested on consecutive days last week and officials met with a representative of the Missouri Rural Water Association.
City Clerk Mary Lou Rainwater said the tests showed how much water was over the pumps and how quickly the well recovered after the pump had been in operation.
She noted that Well No. 2 had 120 feet of water over the pump and the water level dropped only 30 feet during the test.