Norwich Told To Save Water
Norwich — Town officials are urging residents on a municipal water system to conserve water after a pump station caught fire in the early morning hours Wednesday.
The fire, which is still under investigation, wiped out the electrical system that powers the pump, which brings water from a well at the site near Route 5 to a reservoir near Beaver Meadow Road.
Sam Eaton, a certified operator at the fire district and municipal water department, said Wednesday night that there are no water quality issues, but there is a limited amount of water left in the reservoir.
He anticipated about two to four days of water supply left, depending on usage, and asked that customers conserve water and avoid heavy usage chores such as watering the lawn or washing cars.
“If they can conserve and maybe hold off on laundry and things like that, it makes a big difference,” Eaton said.
The municipal water system serves about 360 connections, mostly clustered downtown, according to Eaton, who anticipated that a temporary generator should be on site and running sometime today, which could resolve the scarcity issue.
“Hopefully we’ll be in better shape tomorrow and have a better idea when we’ll be pumping water again,” Eaton said Wednesday night.
Failing that, Eaton said the backup plan would be to use temporary infrastructure to transport municipal water from Hanover across the Ledyard Bridge.
“If we do that, we have to go on a boil-water notice,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with Hanover’s water, it’s just about bringing water across state lines.”
Fire Chief Steve Leinoff said his department received a report of a building fire on Route 5 just after 3 a.m. Wednesday at the pump station. Leinoff said there was extensive damage to the electrical system that runs the pump and is housed in the structure that caught on fire.
According to Leinoff, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Fire departments from Hanover, Norwich, Hartford and Thetford responded to the fire.
Ben Conarck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3213