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Water service interrupted in Mayflower after system shut down

by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette , Teresa Moss | February 19, 2021 at 4:54 p.m.
Water flows down the street as Little Rock Police and Central Arkansas Water close off the 100 block of W. 4th Street on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, after a water main broke in downtown Little Rock. The water flooded a parking garage and the basements of buildings along Main Street. More photos at (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

Mayflower-area residents were reporting disruption in water service late Friday afternoon, according to Facebook posts.

Raymond Arnold, Mayflower's water department manager, told customers that the entire water system was shut down Friday morning but that the system was refilling by mid-afternoon.

“This will take six to ten hours to be completely [filled],” Arnold said in a Facebook comment.

The city of Mayflower posted that leaky pipes and an increased demand on the system were straining the city's water system. The post asked that customers continue to conserve water when service is restored.

2:38 p.m.: About 200 Calico Rock customers placed on boil order

The water manager for Calico Rock in north Arkansas said Friday afternoon that about 200 customers, representing about one-third of the system, were on a boil order Friday.

“Right now we are holding our own, and we hope, as the weather warms up, we can get the issue resolved in the next few days,” Stephen Hicks said. “Most of the people are understanding, and they realize what is going on.”

The loss of water seems to be due to leaks in the water system as it thaws, Hicks said.

Hicks also said it is difficult for his crews to reach some places because of road conditions.

2:23 p.m.: Leaks in Central Arkansas Water system spur calls to conserve

A spokesman for Little Rock-based Central Arkansas Water said Friday afternoon that customers were still being asked to conserve water.

“What we are trying to do is go out and identify leaks,” Doug Shackelford said. “We have several team members out in the community repairing and identifying.”

He said the system was having trouble Friday treating the amount of water being demanded. The increased water usage is likely due to a large amount of small leaks throughout the entire system, particularly in businesses and churches, Shackelford said.

“This morning we found a business in downtown North Little Rock that had water coming out all over the place,” he said. “The fire suppression system had frozen and broken, so they were leaking a lot of water. Those are the types of leaks we are finding.”

As the temperatures rise and pipes thaw, the pressure could cause more leaks throughout the next few days, Shackelford said.

He said the utility hopes that customers can help offset the demand through conservation.

“It really takes a couple of things and we see a shift in how the system is functioning,” Shackelford said. “That is really the entire purpose of why we decided to put out the notice to try to get ahead, so we can function at the highest level possible.”

1:21 p.m.: Some Hot Spring County utility customers out of water

The Hot Spring County Water Association was seeing service disruption Friday on its 1,350-member system, office manager Susan Parish said early Friday afternoon.

Parish said she didn’t know exactly how many customers were out of water.

“We are having a lot of water problems,” Parish said. “We have some leaks that we can’t find, and we have a few customers who are without water because of it. It has been really kind of a struggle right now.”

The water provider also knows of at least a couple of leaks that they can’t reach because of snow, Parish said.

“We can’t get our equipment out to fix it,” she said.

There were no boil orders in effect as of Friday afternoon, Parish said, though she urged all customers to make efforts to conserve water.

“We need the prayers of everyone so we can get this back to normal,” Parish said.

1:04 p.m.: Washington County utility issues water conservation request

Washington County's Washington Water Authority remained under a water conservation request south of Fayetteville and Farmington on Friday afternoon.

Customers were asked to turn off dripping faucets as temperatures increased.

Josh Moore, the water authority's general manager, said water usage has more than doubled in recent days, from 67 percent of capacity to 150 percent of capacity.

“Anything customers can do to help conserve water the next couple days will help keep them and their neighbors with water,” Moore said.

Crews were working to find other possible causes for the increased water usage, Moore said. He said it is possible there are leaks in the system or even at individual homes.

“We are trying to figure out if a customer has a leak in their house they don’t know about or maybe someone is out of town,” Moore said.

At this time there are no boil orders for the water authority, but Moore said that could change if water use does not lower. Houses at higher elevations are especially at risk, Moore said.

12:58 p.m.: Calico Rock cites residential leaks in water loss

The town of Calico Rock, about 23 miles southeast of Mountain Home, posted on its website mid-morning Friday that a portion of the town was facing water loss from Red Lane to downtown.

A previous post explained water loss was caused by residential water leaks.

10:17 a.m.: Central Arkansas utility asks customers to begin conserving water

Central Arkansas Water on Friday morning asked its customers to begin conserving water as pipes begin to thaw.

Though there are no issues with the amount of water available, CAW said in a news release that the utility’s “ability to treat the water to keep up with demand will place a heavy burden on the system.”

CAW’s request follows calls to conserve water by other utilities across the state.

[TRAFFIC UPDATES: Tractor-trailer fire temporarily blocks I-40 »]

Several main breaks were discovered overnight Thursday, many of which were in unoccupied commercial buildings, the release states. These leaks can lead to “substantial water losses,” CAW said.

Little Rock’s Museum of Discovery reported “extensive damage” and an animal’s death after a pipe broke at its facility Thursday morning.

“Our request for customers to conserve is to ensure the integrity of the system, and to try to eliminate the need for future boil water notices,” CAW said in the release.

The utility said customers may see discolored water, which they said is safe but could stain clothing. The discoloration comes as CAW reverses water flows to maintain pressure.

[EARLIER: Faucet-drip advice raises concerns of state's water systems »]

Over 140 employees were sent out at daybreak Friday to search for broken water mains across the system. CAW asks that anyone who spots what appears to be a main break call their emergency line: (501) 377-1239.


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