Pendleton’s two largest water supply wells are out of service, and in response the city is asking residents to cut back on outside watering.
The well at Stillman Park went down last week, said Bob Patterson, the city’s public works director, and Monday around 4 a.m. the city lost the Roy Raley Park well. The two wells supply about 4.6 million gallons of water per day.
Patterson said having two large wells go down at the same time is a first for him.
He said rubber bushings went bad on the Stillman well and caused the pump to seize up. The well provides about two million gallons a day. Parts are on the way, he said, and crews should make repairs Wednesday with the goal of having the pump back running again by Saturday.
The Roy Raley Park well provides about 2.6 million gallons per day, he said, and started slowing down before it conked out. Patterson said crews on Wednesday plan on finding the problem with the pump.
“We won’t know everything until we pull that out,” Patterson said.
And with the pump 400 feet down, he said, getting to it means hauling up that much column pipe.
City parks director Donnie Cook said his department shut off water at all city parks except Roy Raley, which needs some extra help to get back to where it should be. Water also is on for the new trees and young arborvitae along Frazer Avenue around Southwest Ninth Street.
“Some of them are just newly planted and need a lot of water to survive, especially this time of year,” he said.
Water also remains on at city hall and the convention center, but Cook said he would turn that off if the shortage demands because drinking water matters more than green grass.
Water at the parks should be off for a few days. Cook said if the repairs take longer and grass starts to turn brown, the department might water on a rotation.
The city in a written statement urged residents to “minimize all outside watering as much as possible.” Patterson said with two wells down, everyone needs to pitch in to conserve water.
Cook said on the upside, folks might not need to mow as much.
The city last asked its residents to cut back on watering in 2002, according to the city’s written statement about the wells. The public’s help made the difference then, the city stated, and should be able to address this water shortage as well.