The City Utility Department has started the process of bringing the water tower back into service. This will require completely filling the tower, emptying the tower and filling it again over the course of approximately 6 days. During this time, to fill the tower as quickly as possible, more water than usual will be flowing through the water system. This is the same situation as hydrant flushing or the use of hydrants for fire fighting, which can cause discoloration of the water. The discolored water is caused by a natural build up of minerals in the water system, which are stirred up when the water is moving through the mains at a high volume. Residents who experience this should simply run the cold water tap for a few minutes to clear the household pipes.
A message will be sent once the ban on outdoor watering has been lifted and the City returns to odd/even water restrictions. The ban on outdoor watering from 6 am to 10 am, that has been in place for several years, will also continue.
May 6, 2019 Update
The rain over the past two weeks has been great for lawns and plants, but has caused some delay in the water tower project. The coating on the interior of the tower had to be applied while the humidity and temperature were at a certain level, plus the access panel on the top of the tower had to be open for proper ventilation for the workers inside. Despite the weather challenges, the contractor is completing the last interior coat application on the tower today (Monday, May 6th). We now enter a 7-10 day curing period for the coating. To ensure that it is properly cured, a generator will be operating a dehumidifier and heater (if necessary) 24/7 for the next 7-10 days.
Once the coating is cured, we will begin the approximately 6-day process for bringing the tower back into service. The procedures for bringing the tower back online are governed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (formerly MDEQ). The estimated time period in which we should be able to return to odd even water restrictions is between May 20th and May 23rd. A notice will be sent out as soon as the ban is lifted.
The City would like to thank everyone for their cooperation during this process. We have had to do very little enforcement of the ban and our water usage has stayed very consistent. We understand the inconvenience that the outdoor watering ban is to our water users. It is also a significant and stressful challenge for staff to keep the water system functioning properly without the availability of the tower. Fortunately, re-coating of the inside of the tower only needs to be done approximately once every 20 years.
On Monday, April 1, 2019 the preventative maintenance work on the City's 500,000 gallon water storage tower will begin. The work is expected to take approximately 6 weeks and requires the tower to be drained of water. Starting April 1st, all outdoor watering (car washing, irrigation, etc) is prohibited. This temporary ban is necessary because the City will not have the ability to store water; we will only have the ability to put into the system what we can get directly from the wells. To avoid excess strain on the wells during this time, water use must be limited to indoor usage only. The ban will be strictly enforced. Once the work is complete, a notice will be sent out that the odd/even water restrictions are back in effect.
The water tower is located in the Dexter Business and Research Park. The preventative maintenance is being done on the inside of the tower. Those in the area may hear noise as the contractor uses a vacuum system as part of the work. Work hours are 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Saturday.