With the exceptions of the Arrowhead Lake Community and the Yatesville Public Library, Upson County appears to have weathered the extremely low temperatures last week without any major water problems.
Arrowhead Lake Community
Emergency Management Agency Director Martha Ann McCrary said Friday that the Arrowhead Lake Community off of Triune Mill Road asked for assistance Thursday when their water tank lost 60,000 gallons of water. McCrary said while the water system for the community is run by a private service, the several hundred families out there are county residents, so they did what they could assist them.
She coordinated with the Upson County Road Department to fill and send its large water truck out to Emory Chapel Baptist Church with 4,000 gallons of water. While the water was not suitable for drinking without boiling, it could be used for other needs around the house.
McCrary said they determined that a pipe between the community’s well and water tank had frozen and burst, and that once they got that fixed and the water tank refilled, they would be back in business.
Yatesville Public Library
The Yatesville Public Library was not as fortunate and will not be back in business as soon. A broken water pipe inside the library caused a large amount of damage. Repairs are expected to take up to a month.
The public is asked to return Yatesville Public Library checked out items to the Hightower Memorial Library at 800 W. Gordon Street in Thomaston. Yatesville Public Library items returned that were due Monday, January 6 to Friday, the 10 will not be charged overdue fines. Until the Yatesville Public Library reopens, the public is asked to use the Hightower Memorial Library in Thomaston.
Yatesville Mayor Cecil Moncrief said water pressure is down, but while there may be residents in the city having to have leaks fixed, the city water system itself did not appear to have any problems other than the pipe at the library.
Upson County did not suffer any large water breaks, but that didn’t stop County Water Superintendent Danny Johnson from sending out workers to check on vacant houses.
“We didn’t have any leaks as far as the water system, but several of our customers had busted lines under the house and that caused out tanks to run a little low,” Johnson said Friday. “But, the city was having the same problems, sort of just county wide.
“Yesterday morning we were going around checking (houses). I had all of my guys out in the field. Pretty much most of our vacant houses already have the water cut off. Actually, we found some occupied houses that had obvious leaks, but the people had gone to work. Say for instance they come in at 6 p.m. and it’s dark and then they leave at 7 a.m. the next morning - they weren’t aware they had a leak. We turned the water off and left a note to keep the water from running, but there were not too many houses where that had happened.
“Our water pressure came back up Thursday night. Our tanks are filled back up so we are in good shape.”
City Manager Patrick Comiskey said Friday the city called in extra resources to assist them in making sure city water lines were secure.
“To help us, we brought in Matchpoint, which is a private company. We mobilized those guys Wednesday night, and they brought a truck in first thing Thursday morning, and they’ve been checking some of our lines, trying to find any leaks that they can,” Comiskey said. “We brought a second truck in this morning, so we have two trucks going through town trying to find where there might be some leaks.
“We’ve identified 18 leaks in city water lines as of two nights ago. We repaired four of them yesterday and are working on five of them today. The nine additional ones are being evaluated and we’ll try to schedule them out and fix them.”
Comiskey added that the city also sent workers out looking for residential water leaks.
“Wednesday night we had firefighters out combing, and then on Thursday we had a couple of firefighters and our Street Department workers out. They were combing actual neighborhoods and walking creeks. If they saw a residence that had a leak, they were to knock on the door and let them know about it, so they could turn off their water until they got a plumber.
“But our service has not been interrupted and we don’t anticipate anything happening,” Comiskey said. “We’re in better shape now than we were two nights ago when we first saw we had to turn the pumps up at the water plant to increase the amounts going into the system, because our tanks started to drop. I think the combination of people fixing their own leaks and us finding and fixing our leaks, we’re closing the gap.”