City Asks Residents to Continue Water Conservation Efforts
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Alexandria, La. (February 20, 2021) — City of Alexandria officials continue to ask all water customers to use as little water as possible until further notice as the city works to refill water tanks and restore water pressure.
“We are grateful to everyone who has stepped up by eliminating or reducing their water use. You are making a difference,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall. “The system is slowly starting to stabilize, but it is still extremely fragile. It’s critical that everyone continue to use as little water as possible. Any increase in usage could wipe out the progress we have made so far. I know it creates a hardship, but if we all keep working together we can get through this.”
Utility Director Michael Marcotte said the key to improving water pressure is refilling the four elevated water tanks that serve the city. “Getting those tanks filled is critical because that is where our water pressure comes from – it’s a gravity fed system – so we need to get the water levels back up in those tanks as quickly as possible.”
Hall said the city has not mandated the closure of any businesses at this time. “We are asking everyone to voluntarily limit their use of water. Now is not the time to go to a carwash or engage in any activity that uses a large amount of water,” Hall said. “Our hope is these actions will allow our water supply to recover. If not, additional steps may become necessary.”
Marcotte added business and property owners should continue to inspect pipes for leaks. “Temperatures warmed up enough today that any frozen pipes should have thawed, so it’s imperative that people thoroughly inspect their water systems for leaks and shut off water to any broken pipes,” Marcotte said. “We still need people to treat a water leak like they would a crime – if they see it, they need to call us at 318-473-1264 so we can come turn it off,” he said.
The city-wide boil advisory issued Wednesday remains in effect. Residents are advised not to drink the water until they boil it, which includes bringing the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute.
“It will be up to the Department of Health as to how long the boil advisory remains in place,” Marcotte said. “Once system pressure stabilizes we will start testing water quality. Those tests can take 24-48 hours if not longer. The boil advisory will remain in place until testing shows the water is safe for residents to drink.”
To assist residents during the boil advisory, the city distributed 900 cases of bottled water to residents Saturday afternoon. “We are grateful to GOHSEP (Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management) for the water we received today,” Hall said. “We placed an order for bottled water before the storm and this was the first shipment. We expect to get more and will distribute that to residents as soon as it arrives.”
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