UPDATE - 4:00 p.m. January 26, 2012:
Water crews determined that the major water leak was solely confined to the Umpqua River crossing into the Laurelwood neighborhood. It was discovered that one valve connected to that crossing had not been shut down. Now that 100% of the valve have been shut off, the reservoirs are filling at the proper rate and the water plant is backing off on pumping. No problems are occurring within the system. The leak reported earlier at Riverside near Bowden has no impact on the major water loss that we had been experiencing.
We will not be able to make repairs until this summer when river water levels are lower. In the interim, there will not be any impact on customer water service. We thank everyone for their cooperation during this situation.
UPDATE - 1:30 p.m. January 26, 2012:
The water crew has found what they believe is a large water leak in the Laurelwood neighborhood (on Riverside Drive near Bowden). They are currently working on a strategy to isolate the section, while keeping residents in Laurelwood and on Finlay in service. Once this is accomplished, they will isolate the leak and begin repairs. It appears the water has been diverting into the sanitary sewer main, and that is why the water has not surfaced. We will not know for sure until the leak is isolated and the main throttled down if this is the leak causing the significant loss of water - but we believe it is highly likely.
On Friday, January 20th, the City issued a water conservation order after it came to light that the water system was losing 1,000 gallons of water per minute. The order was lifted the following day after one leak was isolated in connection with a river crossing to the Laurelwood Neighborhood. Closing that connection enabled the water reservoirs to refill at an acceptable rate. However, another leak remains to be isolated.
The City has contracted with American Leak Service to assist in locating the source of the leak. As of Monday afternoon, water reservoir levels were at 16 feet compared to the 17.5 or 18 feet normal level. Therefore, we are operating at safe levels and will be able to meet customer demands.
Any updates to the situation will be posted to the City's website and distributed to all local news media.