System can handle the rainDrier weather during the last few days has improved some of the conditions associated with the high water this spring, according to local utility officials.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Drier weather during the last few days has improved some of the conditions associated with the high water this spring, according to local utility officials.
“We’re in pretty good shape with the sanitary sewer,” said Steve Suko, utility operations director for Jamestown. “We have a bypass in southeast Jamestown that pumps the sewage rather than allowing it to flow by gravity but we should be able to handle the rain quite handily.”
The James River basin will miss the heaviest precipitation, according to Patrick Ayd, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
“The worst will go north of you,” he said. “For Jamestown the heaviest will be over by midday Saturday with total accumulation through the weekend of between 1 1/2 and 2 inches.”
Ayd said thunderstorms couldn’t be ruled out with localized heavier rains where they occur.
Because of the possible rain the city is asking residents to continue plugging all floor sewer drains and maintaining the odd and even limitations for water use.
Homeowners with even house numbers are asked to do high water use tasks like laundry and dishwashing on even-numbered days while those in odd-numbered houses would perform those tasks on odd-numbered days.
Residents have been asked to limit water entering the sewer system since May 7.
Suko said the flows through the Jamestown sanitary sewer were at 5.9 million gallons on Friday morning. This was the lowest level recorded in the past three weeks and down from a peak of about 6.8 million gallons.
“There is always some concern when you rely on mechanical pumps,” Suko said. “Once we’re back on a gravity sewer system we’ll be more at ease.”
Rural travelers got some good news on Thursday when the bridge over the James River east of Buchanan opened. However, it is one of the few routes in the county closed by high water that has reopened.
“The roads are not improving quickly,” said Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager. “The ground is still saturated in most areas.”
Bergquist said that 105 roads in a total of 44 townships remained closed due to water over the road or washed out roadbeds.
Releases from the Jamestown and Pipestem dams may be lowered through the weekend to allow for local runoff in Jamestown, Bergquist said. This would be a temporary measure with the current combined releases of 1,800 cubic feet per second returned after the rain and continued through much of June.
“We still need to keep an eye on the dams,” Bergquist said. “The dams are still at the third-highest levels ever recorded. We have a long way to go with the high releases.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com