NOON UPDATE: Tucson Water Update on Water Serviceby Michael Carson on Feb. 03, 2011, under Uncategorized
Extreme cold temperatures have affected water service throughout the Tucson area. Over 90 Tucson Water employees are busy responding to customer calls about water outages, inspecting Tucson Water booster stations and reservoirs to assess any damage from last night’s cold temperatures, and also ensuring that facilities are prepared for another night of cold weather.
Tucson Electric Power and TRICO Electric also notified Tucson Water during early morning hours of an interruption of power service, which further compounded the problem as many pumps and boosters were left without electricity to operate them. Electrical service was restored by late morning.
Fernando Molina, Public Information Officer for Tucson Water, stated that employees are trying to determine the extent of outages due to water system failures. “As of 10:30 a.m., we estimate that we have approximately 1,000 customers out of water due to problems with our pumps and boosters. While we were aware of electronic monitoring and control system malfunctions during the late night and early morning hours due to the cold weather, we never know the full extent of the problem until people get up in the morning and start using water while getting ready for work. At this point in time, we suspect that a large number of customers are out of water due to personal plumbing having frozen overnight.”
Molina also stated that while many pipes have frozen overnight, burst water lines become apparent later in the morning, after water in pipes begins to thaw out. Other problems being reported include backflow devices at commercial facilities and apartment complexes bursting due to the freezing temperatures. Molina stated that certified backflow installers or private plumbing contractors should be contacted to ensure that the devices are properly repaired and protected for the cold temperatures expected for the next couple of days.
Further suggestions for customers concerned about their private plumbing are available on the Tucson Water web site.