RUSSELLVILLE -- The town of Russllville, which a few weeks ago sent flyers to all its residents to begin conserving water, passed an emergency water conservation ordinance on Monday that becomes effective immediately.
The plan does not ban water usage, but because of the ongoing drought and other factors, residents are forbidden from certain activities that are deemed excessive.
"You can use a hose, but you can't use a sprinkler," council president Don Reddish said. "It's just using common sense during this water emergency."
In addition to sprinklers, residents are forbidden from washing cars, filling swimming pools and other activities that use a large amount of water.
In addition to the drought, town officials have discovered a problem with the north well.
The pump burned out because of a quarter-sized hole in the pipe.
The well has since been repaired, and the pump replaced, but a number of tests still have to be done until the well can be used.
That means instead of being split, all the town water is now coming from the south well.
Due to the water conservation letter and the work done on the pumps, residents have been concerned that there is a water shortage in town.
This is not believed to be the case, but because the north well has never had a depth finder in the past, there is no way to immediately be certain.
"We really don't know what normal (water level) is," street superintendent Jim McAfee said. "I honestly don't think we have a problem."
The new well has a depth finder, and that is part of what will take so long to reopen the well.
Before it's operational, the well is going to be tested to find the base water table, then the water table when a pump is in use. This will take a series or alternating processes, beginning on Friday and taking two weeks.
Town officials are hopeful the well will be reopened in 30 days.
Because the ordinance was passed during a state of emergency, the town is not required to advertise it. The ordinance is posted at the town building.
The council also accepted the Putnam County burn ordinance terms, which will now be enforced within town limits.
With both safety ordinances, the town is now able to enforce policies that they hoped people would already be abiding.
The pump in the north well has been a problem for some time.
Earlier this year the town investigated replacing it as part of a filtration project, going as far as taking bids from contractors, but that process was halted for financial and other reasons.
The new pump is significantly better than the old one, as it is now capable of sending water directly to the town water tower instead of first stopping at the pump house.
Council president Don Reddish is hopeful that with the new pump already installed, the town will now be able to move forward with the filtration project.