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Storms disrupt water treatment facility operations

By SERINA MARSHALL Staff Writer

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The Town of Jonesborough’s Water Treatment Plant was without power for nearly 12 hours over the weekend, Saturday, June 18, due to storms that came through the area. Although BrightRidge was able to restore power early Saturday afternoon, much of the town’s storage capacity was depleted.

“It’s rare to have a power outage at our water treatment plant, but during the storm last week, that occurred. That caused the system to become reliant on our water reserves until power could be restored,” said Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest. “We were concerned reserves could be exhausted before power was restored but BrightRidge was on the scene quickly and restored power by mid-afternoon. Our water reserves are slowly normalizing each day.”

The water treatment plant has been running at full capacity since mid-afternoon Saturday, but town officials asked residents to continue to do their part this week to conserve water until the town’s storage capacity has been restored.

“This occurrence illustrates why our board recently approved multimillion dollars in upgrades to the system which includes automation advancements the next few years and total water treatment plant replacement soon after,” Vest said. “This will eliminate most of our pressing needs but won’t be cheap.

“In the meantime, we are in discussions with surrounding areas to offer mutual sup- port in case of outages in the future. Overall, our current water plant is serving us well now but with future growth expected to continue we are proactively expanding capacity with a new plant currently in early design.”

Town officials asked customers not to use unnecessary water for things such as washing vehicles, watering lawns, etc. With assistance from its customers, they felt the storage capacity could be restored by this weekend and well before the upcoming July 4 holiday.

As of Tuesday, according to Vest, they had nearly doubled their reserve, so all is normal.

“We are no longer encouraging people to conserve water right now, but conserving does save them money,” he said