ASHVILLE — The Village of Ashville is currently under a boil alert and water conservation alert following several water main leaks in the village.
According to Jim Welsh, chief of water operations, the initial break happened on Wednesday around 10 a.m. on West Main Street, between Center Alley and Long Street. At around 1 p.m., a second leak was identified on West Main Street, just east of Cromley Street. Two additional leaks were then discovered, one on Madison Street, between Long Street and Randall Street, and at the corner of Station Street and Long Street.
“Repairs are underway, but because of the age of the valves and the temperature, we have been unable to turn off the water to isolate the leak,” he said in a notice to residents. “That has caused a significant amount of water loss in our water towers.”
Welsh said the boil alert is due to the decrease in pressure from that loss of water.
“We are investigating how long it will take to make repairs and if that assessment indicates a modification of the boil water alert or change in the conservation advisory,” he said.
Residents are instructed to bring all water for drinking or cooking to a rolling boil for at least two minutes prior to using. The alert will remain in effect for 48 hours after all repairs have been made and confirmation of no contamination is possible.
“If water has been open to air, a water quality test will be performed and if any problems are detected, the alert will be extended another 24 hours and residents will be notified,” he said. “As an alternative to boiling water, people may use bottled water.”
When it comes to conservation, the village has about 550,000 gallons of water stored and on average over the last year, the village used 310 gallons daily. They are asking residents to continue to conserve water, even though the capacity is over 17 feet, up from it’s lowest point of 8 feet of water. 17 feet is roughly 80 percent capacity, according to the village.
“We ask that residents decrease their use of water during this period,” Welsh said. “Water remains safe for now. During this advisory, no unnecessary use of water is permitted.”
Welsh provided several steps residents can take to help conserve water including taking shorter showers, turning off the water when not actively using, fixing leaks, delaying doing their laundry or dishes and using water-saving settings or changing to water saving shower heads and faucets.
Franklin Christman, village administrator, said their water tower storage did grow overnight following the alert being issued, but that they’re still not where they want to be.
“We now have an adequate, not optimum, amount of water in above ground storage now,” he said. “We hope the other two leaks don’t impact this. We’re just not used to it being this cold for this long. Normally, it’s for a matter of hours or a day, not several days.”
Christman said the leaks were likely weather related.
“Ultimately, they’re weather related, but it’s possible that the loss of water from the first leak impacted the second, third and fourth,” he said.
The village also has a third alert for water discoloration.
“This event will result in discoloration and if it occurs, let your water run until it clears,” Welsh said. “One word of caution: rust will stain light colored laundry. Please be sure that both your cold and hot water are rust-free before you launder any whites.”
However, Welsh said there is a remedy for the staining by using a rust stain remover, such as Super Iron Out, which is what the village uses.
Welsh said they would continue to keep the public informed of any updates and changes as they come about. Residents with questions are encouraged to contact the water department at 740-983-6367.