With the recent winter storm and extreme cold temperatures, Hot Springs residents have been busy coping with frozen pipes. Because of the high number of broken services, Hot Springs Utilities has been working night and day to keep up with demand for water.
While the stored water supply was stabilizing, residents were encouraged to increase their water conservation as much as possible, including reducing their showers, laundry, and any other means of limiting their water usage.
As of Wednesday, Feb. 24, the water system has stabilized and water usage can return to normal, while continuing to be mindful of usage and conservation best practices.
The combination of the City of Hot Springs Utilities employees and the conservation done by the community in response to the effects on the water system from the frigid temperatures were recognized at the Board of Directors meeting on Feb. 23.
“The efforts of everyone involved got us through this storm,” said City Manager Bill Burrough. He added that at least 92 Utilities employees, with additional help from our firefighters, were involved in responding to the more than 3,000 home and business leaks from burst pipes and other efforts to maintain the system, day and night.
Mayor Pat McCabe shared that as Hot Springs residents reached out to him about the water issues, they were receptive to the need for the community to conserve water while the Utilities Department and others worked to decrease the leaks while doing everything possible to increase the available water in storage.
“There was buy-in within our community. We would not have gotten out of this, even with all of the great work by the City staff, we would not have been able to maintain our system if we would not have gotten buy-in from those who are end users of the water,” said McCabe. “So I want to give a shout-out to all of them for their patience and their understanding.”
As the tanks continue to fill and the distribution system normalizes, mineral particles that settle out of finished water may be disturbed and cause discolored water at the customer tap. Although the dingy water is not a health concern, Hot Springs Utilities recommends not running hot water until the cold water tap runs clear and to avoid washing laundry. Cloudy water, caused by air in the lines, will clear up with time.
The Utility Department is still focused on responding to customers with leaks and restoring the distribution system to its normal operating capacity. Should you discover a leak and are unable to shut the water off, please call 501-321-6200 and request assistance.