City water plant experiences shutdown

A Sunday power outage in Craig temporarily shut down the city's new water treatment plant.

Water already in the filtering lines at the plant flooded the new plant's basement, rendering it inoperable for a few days, City Engineer Bill Earley said.

City crews brought two of the new plant's six filters back online Wednesday, he said.

"It caused our pumps to fail and basically all our equipment went down out there," Earley said.

The valves were still on a manual shutdown, he added, and for some reason that didn't get done.

Earley could not say how much the flood would cost the city to repair.

"There's a lot of electrical stuff down there," he said. "We have to go through all that, tear it apart, and put it back together."

Should the city not have to replace anything, it still will need to pay for the labor that went into bringing the new water plant back online, Earley said. He could not estimate how much man hours spent bringing the plant back online would cost.

When the new plant went down, city crews brought the old plant back online to provide clean water.

Water quality was never in doubt, but officials were concerned about how much clean water they could provide until mid-week, Earley said.

"There was always clean water," he said. "We asked the (Parks and Recreation) Department to shut irrigation off to reduce demand. If it had gotten worse, we would have shut irrigation off throughout the rest of the city."

The city is now running the old treatment plant alongside one-third of the new treatment plant's filters.

"We've recovered, and we're back in shape," Earley said.

Costs from the power outage may put the treatment plant over budget, he said, including the $200,000 set aside for unexpected costs.

"The new plant has got to get done one way or the other," Earley said. "We'll have all that figured out in the next few weeks."

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