City Of Wagoner Struggles With Water Plant Shut Down

Monday, July 25th 2011, 1:09 pm

By: News On 6


Emily Baucum, News On 6

WAGONER, Oklahoma -- The City of Wagoner was forced to shut off all water access in Wagoner and the surrounding Rural Water District 6 Monday.

This came after a mechanical problem crippled Wagoner's water treatment plant over the weekend. It could only churn out water at half capacity.

Customers of Rural Water District #6 who do have water are under a boil order from the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

7/24/2011 Related Story: City Of Wagoner Under Mandatory Water Restrictions

The water shortage is hurting several businesses in Wagoner.

There's a lock on the gate at the car wash--the stalls are empty, the nozzles, dry. The laundromat is still open--for now.

"Definitely don't make any money. You have to close your business for the day," said Kathryn Romo, Owner of Wagoner Laundromat.

The culprit: a broken filter at Wagoner's water treatment plant. It buckled under the pressure of delivering water to thousands trying to cool off during this wicked-hot summer.

Manufacturers say it would take four to six weeks to ship a replacement part.

"It's unacceptable. Our citizens don't deserve that," said James Jennings, Wagoner Mayor.

The mayor says water will be restored much faster.

"Parts are on their way here from Dallas as we speak. We're going to manufacture and fabricate a grate and a screen on site," he said.

He says crews will work all night to retrofit their own fix--and promises it will be a permanent solution.

"I knew the water was going to be turned off but I didn't realize it was going to be for days," said Wagoner resident Vickie Edwards.

Edwards got lucky--she's driving away from the laundromat with clean clothes.

"I just took a chance and threw them in there," she said.

After that, the washing machine ran dry -- and so did business.

"If they don't get their water situated in a week they're going to have a lot of mad people in Wagoner," Edwards said.

The city's water problems have also caused the Wagoner County courthouse to close Monday and Tuesday.

The courthouse is tentatively scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, if water pressure is restored.


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