A small crack in one of Chelsea’s clear well basins has prompted officials to ask water customers to cut back on water usage.

“We’re not rationing water, we’re just asking everyone to reduce their usage,” Chelsea Mayor Kenny Weast said Friday. “If everyone will do their part, we won’t have to have a rationing.”

The request for less water use among customers came after a special Chelsea Economic Development Authority meeting Monday afternoon.

Although a crack was detected in the elder cement basin, Weast said they will not know how big the crack is until a dive team enters the tank and assesses the issue.

“The dive team will vacuum it out and then see how big the crack is,” he said. “After that, they will patch it up.”

The crack was noticed after it was discovered the pump at the basin was running 24 hours a day, instead of the normal 16 hours a day, and water levels were decreasing despite the non-stop pumping.

The dive team is expected to arrive in Chelsea and begin inspections early this week, according to Weast. Repair is expected to take approximately one and a half weeks, but it will not interrupt water supply.

“We have another basin that is fairly new and it is made out of steel,” Weast said. “We should be able to keep up with the demand during the repair process.”

Currently, CEDA officials are looking at possibly replacing the entire water treatment plant, at a cost of $1.5 million. This would occur in phases, according to Weast, and will include a steel basin to replace the current cement one that is cracked.

The cost of repair by the dive team is expected to be $10,000.

Rural Water District 4 has asked its customers to curb non-essential watering to two days per week. This is due to a deteriorating treatment plant that cannot keep up with the demand. A new plant is currently being constructed, which will be able to handle the demand and growth in that area.