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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 16, 2012, 08:47 PM

Valley City residents urged to conserve water following lift station malfunction

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) -- An equipment malfunction on Valley City's master lift station this morning has forced city crews to pump raw sewage into the Sheyenne River.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) -- An equipment malfunction on Valley City's master lift station this morning has forced city crews to pump raw sewage into the Sheyenne River.

People in Valley City are being urged to conserve water as much as possible.

City crews were doing maintenance on the master lift station when a plug they had put in the water main, suddenly blew off. Luckily, no one was injured, but the pumps and electric motors were completely submerged.

As crews repair the damage, they are asking residents to limit their water use. Brigita Duffy lives right next to the lift station. She has had to conserve water many times in the past due to flooding, and was a little surprised to see the city employees working outside.

Brigita Duffy - Valley City: "It was a little shocking because I thought, 'Oh no, if they're out there, is the river coming up?'"

City staff are also sending a warning to people downstream on the Sheyenne River. With the lift station down, crews had no choice but to pump sewage into the river.

Bob Werkhoven - Valley City Mayor: "We are getting about 600 cubic feet going through town, which will help to dilute it. But we'd like to have people not use any river water."

Mayor Bob Werkhoven says the community stepped up right away to conserve water.

Brigita Duffy: "I don't turn my faucets on, I don't flush my toilets no more than I have to, because I've been through this with the flooding."

City staff hope to have repairs done by Monday... meaning residents will have to curb their water use through the weekend.

So far, there have been no reports of backups in residential areas.

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