|Updated: 7/20/2012 1:18 pm
||Published: 7/09/2012 10:29 am
The Braggs Public Works Authority has lifted a boil order issued earlier this month due to low water pressure in the water system.
Officials said the low pressure could result in possible contamination. Customers were urged to bring water to a full rolling boil for one minute before consumption, food preparation, dish washing, tooth brushing, wound care and bathing infants who may ingest bath water.
The Braggs Public Works Authority also urges water conservation because the pumps at the well sites cannot keep up with demand.
It was the second time in two weeks Braggs has had water issues.
City leaders say the problems stem from the fact that Braggs has outgrown its water system.
The system is supplied by four underground wells. But with more than 400 taps into the system, water is being pumped out of the wells faster than it can flow in and replenish water levels.
Braggs residents say they understand the problems, but don't think they should have to sacrifice.
"It makes it rough," Braggs resident Diana Dillon said. "It makes it hard."
Dillon says from cooking, to bathing, to drinking, even to water animals, water restrictions can be a real pain.
"There are people that have gardens up, you know, to grow some of their own food," she said. "I don't know what they're supposed to do."
Dillon recently had an in-ground pool built in her back yard, and has been asked not to fill it with water. Her neighbors recently built a pool, too, and have been asked not to keep it filled all the way to the top. But not having enough water in an in-ground pool can cause damage.
"Pools like this aren't cheap," Dillon said. "And what they're asking us to do would ultimately cost us a lot of money for repairs."
Two weeks ago when Braggs was having the same problem Camp Gruber, located nearby, gave Braggs 26,000 gallons of water to fill its three water towers. But Braggs needed ten times that amount to fill the towers to the point that's needed.
City leaders are still trying to figure out a deal with Camp Gruber to have the military installation pump the roughly 230,000 gallons it would need to fill all three water towers on the system. If the towers were filled, water service to customers could come from the towers, giving the struggling wells a break to fill back up.
But there's no indication that could happen soon. So people like Dillon will have to continue to sacrifice where they can.
"As you can see from my yard I haven't watered it," Dillon said.
And she and others in town will have to spend time boiling all of their water, or just pony up the cash to buy bottled water.
"We have to buy more, pay out more," Dillon said. "And then we're still paying for water that we can't even use."
Braggs is looking at other long-term solutions to the problem. One solution would be to take water from the Arkansas River like Muskogee does. But that would require building a water treatment plant, which could cost upwards of $10 million to $15 million.
The city is also trying to find another underground water aquifer to tape a fifth well into to increase the overall water supply. But, again, that process could cost quite a bit and would take a substantial amount of time to do.