The arctic-like temperatures of the last week have caused a huge jump in water consumption in La Vergne, putting an enormous demand on the water supply. Now that temperatures are above freezing, the city is asking people to turn their faucets back off.
“The demand has been huge on the water treatment plant,” said Thomas Champagne, chief operator. “If only 60 percent of metered customers have faucets running – even a slow trickle – that equates to a huge flow at least the size of an unchecked main water line break. The system needs time to regenerate and rebuild.”
Normal levels of the water storage tanks in the city are steady at about 80 percent, according to Champagne. As of Thursday morning, the Sanford Knob tank was at 65 percent and the Sanders tank was at 35 percent.
City workers are checking and repairing leaks in the distribution system, but there are steps customers can take as well:
- Turn your faucets off when temperatures are above 32 degrees. The next freezing temperatures are predicted overnight on Saturday and Tuesday, but only expected to drop to 30 degrees.
- Check the meter by your house for leaks. If there is a leak on the street side, notify Public Works at 793-9891 so repairs can be made. If there is a leak between the meter and the house, Public Works may assist in shutting the water off.
- Reduce your consumption wherever possible while the storage tanks rebuild the supply.
- If you see water coming from a neighboring home or flowing in a yard, contact Public Works so water can be turned off.
During the frigid temperatures, the demand on the electric system caused power fluctuations, resulting in the Water Treatment Plant switching to auxiliary power to keep the water supply steady. The plant went back to the NES power supply at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
The fire department is also keeping an eye on the tank levels. Fire Chief Rick McCormick said, “We have to have 500 gallons per minute from hydrants to be usable by the fire department. At this time, they are at 600 to 700 gallons per minute, so we do have adequate water pressure for fighting fires.”
The city of La Vergne has alerted Metro Nashville and Smyrna for tanker service in the event levels drop further.