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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 21, 2012, 09:43 PM

Milnor, ND completely shuts down its water supply again

Milnor, ND (WDAY TV) -- As tens of thousands of students get set to go back to school, those from Milnor, North Dakota will have to wait another day.

Milnor, ND (WDAY TV) -- As tens of thousands of students get set to go back to school, those from Milnor, North Dakota will have to wait another day.

The city is being forced to completely shut down its water supply for the second time this month. It's a problem the city's Public Works Director says he's never seen in his 15 years on the job - three water main breaks in a month. When that happens in a small town of just 700 people, the little amenities are few and far between.

Dwain Elenberger - Public Works Director: "The whole town will be shut down. And there won't be any water in town."

If you have a health emergency in Milnor tomorrow, you better check Wyndmere, or maybe Lisbon - the clinic will be shut down. For those parents in a rush to get their kids back to school, it'll have to wait another day.

Weeks after fixing a leak just to the south of Highway 13 in Milnor, the town now has to fix two more. Because of the leaks, the community has been using about 10,000 more gallons of water per day.

Dwain Elenberger: "We don't know if the pumps aren't working right up there, or the pressure valves aren't working, we just don't know."

Public Works Director Dwain Elenberger says he will be bringing in engineers to determine if the entire main, first built in 1991, needs to be replaced. For now, residents can expect the faucets and showers to be dry come morning. Bottled water might just be at premium - for at least a few hours - in Milnor, North Dakota.

Dwain Elenberger: "It's a lot of headache with school starting, but I'm glad it's happening now rather than when it's 40 below."

Last time, the water supply was shut down for 15 hours. This time Elenberger is bringing in two crews and hopes to have everything turned back on by mid-afternoon tomorrow.

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