Anchorage mayor asks south-side residents to restrict water use

Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Mayor George Wuerch has issued a plea to south-side residents to voluntarily conserve water.

People should stop watering their lawns and gardens, washing their cars and doing other, similar outdoor activities until further notice, Wuerch said.

South Anchorage could run low on water or out of water if dry weather continues and people do not cut back, Wuerch said.

Fire danger is also a concern, Wuerch said. There have been 23 brush fires in the past five days. The fire department is staging extra water tanker trucks in South Anchorage and a helicopter is on alert to help.

The city has a plentiful water supply at its Eklutna Lake treatment plant, piped into the city through a buried pipeline more than 30 miles long. The problem in South Anchorage has to do with the size of the pipes in that part of town, Wuerch said.

Demand for water in South Anchorage has grown steadily for years, but this spring exceeded carrying capacity of the water pipes, he said.

Wuerch said the problem could be eased if the city goes forward with a plan to extend a new waterline next to Far North Bicentennial Park and along the proposed Bragaw Street extension.

The city is waiting on a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before it can lay the wider pipe, Wuerch said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has concerns about the project damaging wetlands along the proposed route.



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