City Manager Bill Lewis said the structure under the 32-year-old filter collapsed on Friday. The city has found replacement parts in Idaho and North Carolina, but it could take two weeks to a month to get the repairs made and the pump back in service.
"EPD has placed us under a total outdoor watering ban," Lewis said. The city has maintained water pressure by operating the existing filter 24 hours a day, instead of the usual 12.
"The remaining filter is the same age as the damaged filter, so its condition is uncertain," Lewis said. "We’ve had contractors in, and they’re saying the repair time is two weeks to 30 days, depending on the availability of materials and equipment."
The pump is in the plant located on Yahoola Creek. The city is building a new water plant, but it is not expected to be ready until 2010.
Lewis said the city is keeping its fingers crossed that there is not a major fire or a large water main break. He said the situation is serious and the water ban will be strictly enforced.
"That means no outdoor watering of any kind and no filling of swimming pools," Lewis said. "We’re asking our citizens to help us and understand the potential for a greater emergency if the remaining filter fails or if we experienced increased demand (in the event of) a fire."