Oregon town runs out of water

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Oregon town runs out of water Difficulty upgrading a pump in Glendale leaves the taps dry.

The Associated Press

GLENDALE  After three days on the road in an 18-wheeler, Dave Woods made it home to find he couldnt take that nice hot shower he had been looking forward to, and neither could anyone else in town.

Problems with trying to upgrade a pump in the town water system left all the taps dry in this Southern Oregon town of 770 people, except the beer tap at the Swan Song Tavern.

I still havent showered, Woods said Thursday, sipping a beer. This really sucks.

The 500,000-gallon water tank dried up Tuesday, and it will be Saturday before water starts flowing again, said City Manager Eve Foote.

Though a new pump was successfully installed Wednesday evening, the tank has to fill and lines have to be flushed and chlorinated.

Some untreated water flowed into the system Wednesday because a main valve was leaking, but the water was successfully shut off Thursday so the tank could fill, said public works employee Vern Boyd.

Since the town went dry, restaurants have had to close, Safeway has donated 4,000 jugs of water, the elderly dining site has shut down and folks have been hauling water from a portable tank parked downtown to flush toilets and take cold baths.

Weve got all the kids starting sports, and no place to bathe, Tammy Peterson said while she filled a jug. Its really bad.

This puts me four days out of work, said Elsie Bittle, a waitress at the Village Inn restaurant and tavern. Im looking at losing about $350 in wages and tips.

Village Inn owner Tom Schmeltz said he was cutting up steaks getting the daily specials ready when he first learned of the problem.

If I had been warned, I could have rented a tanker and hooked it up myself. I could have had some porta-potties, he said.

But Mayor Polly Eells, co-owner of Glendale Hardware and the Washing Well coin-operated laundry, said they didnt know that they would have to go through three new pumps before getting one to work.

The people of Glendale have always pulled together and thats what theyre doing now, Eells said. You wonder how this could have happened. But trying to get a large enough pump has been a problem.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), August 18, 2000

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