A four-day water emergency for patrons of Rogers County Rural Water District No. 4 was lifted Wednesday afternoon.
District Office Manager Julie Hendrix said repairs were completed at the district's water treatment plant early this afternoon, and the plant had operated at needed capacity for several hours with no glitches. Full capacity is 2 million gallons per day, but it normally operates on hot days between 1.4 and 1.5 million gallons/day.
Conservation efforts by patrons since a pump failed Saturday morning had kept the district afloat with no drop in water pressure, officials said.
Now that the emergency has been lifted, patrons are free to water their flowers and lawns, wash their cars and engage in other water-intensive activities.
The district had asked its patrons to avoid all unnecessary water use after one of the two pumps bringing water from Lake Oologah to the water treatment plant stopped working Saturday morning, cutting intake almost in half.
However, water pressure remained normal as usage fell immediately and stayed down, Hendrix said.
Equally encouraging was the attitude of water users.
“People have been awesome,” she said. “They’re not angry, they’re not upset, they just want to know when” the emergency will end.
When the initial failure occurred, the district had a replacement pump in stock and workers immediately began installing it.
Officials originally estimated that the emergency would last until 6 p.m. Saturday, but repairs took two hours less than expected and the district declared an “all clear” about 4 p.m.
Just as media began spreading that good news, the replacement pump failed. The emergency had to be reinstated because there was not a second replacement part in stock and one had to be ordered.
Officials had hoped it would arrive Monday, but it did not show up until shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday.
By that time, the temperature was 104 degrees and the decision was made to wait until about 7:30 a.m. today to start the replacement process.
When it was completed the district did not cancel the emergency until the new unit had run without problems for several hours.
“We definitely wanted to make sure it was up and going smoothly so we didn’t have to backtrack and say, ‘Oops, it is not up and going’,” Hendrix said.
Cost estimates for the outage, replacement parts and repair work were not immediately available.