Exeter residents feel frustrated after two weeks of low water pressure during peak hours
By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
EXETER – Exeter residents have been putting pressure on the City’s public works department demanding answers for low water pressure throughout the city. Unfortunately there has not been an answer that satisfies them.
“We’ve been trying to communicate to the public, but our answer clearly isn’t good enough,” public works director Daymon Qualls said Monday.
During the mornings and evenings on outdoor watering days; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, is when residents feel the pinch of water pressure the most. According to Qualls the City is not able to pump enough water to meet peak demand right now.
Since last November, Well 13 at Park Place on the corner of Belmont and Filbert has been out of commission. Well 13 is the City’s most productive well at 1,500 gallons per minute (GPM). Exeter initially planned to have the well fixed by March. Unfortunately a camera inspection revealed a break in the well casing at 235 feet. Another contractor had to be hired to authorize installing a sleeve to fix the break, and the parts needed for that were shipped in on Tuesday. According to Qualls installing the sleeve could take a few more days.
“We knew [demand] was coming. That’s why we were trying to hurry up and get this thing done in March,” Qualls said. “We know when it starts getting hot more people start using more water.”
Worse yet, the City’s second most productive well at Brick House Park, Well 6, has been afflicted with E. coli since July 2016. Because the water is not safe to introduce into the system they cannot take advantage of the 1,100 gpm capacity that would add some much needed pressure to the system during peak hours.
If a second camera inspection clears the Well 13 for production the City will begin sending water samples for testing, adding at least 24 more hours until the well can come back on line.
Qualls added this is an example of why the City needs additional water storage. He says if the City had greater capacity to store water this would not be problem to begin with. And already the City is working with their engineering firm, QK Inc. (formerly Quad Knopf), to estimate the full cost of an additional water storage facility.