The Pressure's On for Aqua Indiana Customers

By Daniela Salvador
By Rachel Martin

June 21, 2012 Updated Jun 21, 2012 at 10:10 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Aqua Indiana will receive water City of Fort Wayne Utilities in an effort to help boost water pressure.

For some Aqua Indiana customers, the water pressure might be back, but you're not out of the deep end yet. Efforts to conserve water have been challenging for Aqua Indiana, so Thursday officials decided to borrow water from the City of Fort Wayne Utilities.

Bill Etzler, Vice President and Regional Manager for Aqua Indiana, says they're not doing this because they can't pump water, they're tapping into the City's water supply to help boost the pressure.

“We’ve not had the inability to pump water. We’ve got plenty of water, it’s just that fluctuating water pressure that’s been the problem,” Etzler said.

Crews were out repairing a water main that broke last weekend in Aboite Township. Officials say the break, along with a pump failure, caused low water pressure for the company's 1,400 customers. Etzler says the break caused storage towers to lose more than 5.2 million gallons of water.

Aqua made the connection to Fort Wayne City water valves around 2:00 p.m. Aqua expects to receive up to 500 thousand gallons of water every day until further notice.

“The only thing that we’ve done with the supplemental supply from the city is to assist with getting our water pressure back to what we would consider to be substantial levels to support our customer base,” said Etzler.

Even though Aqua customers may notice better water pressure, they're still urged to conserve. Etzler doesn’t suggest sprinkling the lawn all day, but watering shrubs and flowers is okay.

“That doesn’t take the massive amounts of water that lawn sprinkling does,” he said. “Your lawn really wants to go dormant when the weather is this hot. It’s very difficult to get enough water on it to keep it happy, so let it go brown, it’ll come back.”

Etzler also suggests not washing the car or filling up pools to help conserve. He says he thinks Aqua customers finally got the message about conserving because Wednesday night was the first time in a week that the pressure didn’t fall.

“I want to say thank you. I think the message finally got out yesterday that there was something amiss and that they needed to help. Our water pressure stayed up all last night. We didn’t experience any issues last night—first time in about a week.”

Aqua Indiana will have to pay Fort Wayne to use some of their water, but Etzler says that won’t have any affect on customer rates.

“The city has wholesale rates that they charge other customers. We’ll be paying a wholesale rate from the city, and then we’ll continue to charge our customers the rates that we charge.”

Customers may experience a brief period of cloudiness when first using their water. Etzler says it will be about a week until everything is back to normal. In the meantime, keep conserving!

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