A Close Call On The Water Supply In Prophetstown - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

A Close Call On The Water Supply In Prophetstown



     Crews used hundreds of thousands of gallons of water on the Prophetstown fire Monday. They even tapped into the nearby Rock River and nearly wiped out the water towers in Prophetstown and neighboring Lyndon.  That's why boil orders are in affect until further notice.
     Prophetstown's only water tower holds 200,000 gallons and early in the morning during the fire fight it was almost completely drained. The public works director turned on the pump that feeds the water supply at 500 gallons per minute soon after the fire started, but it was no match keeping up with all the water that was being dumped on the blaze. 
     "The public works director told me we had 10 feet of water left, which is 40 minutes. We didn't know what we were going to do," said Mayor Steve Swanson.
     Three ladder trucks alone used about 6,000 gallons a minute putting a noticeable strain on the system. "No body had water pressure. We're a small town, we only have one water tower," added Mayor Swanson.  He says it was stressful trying to come up with additional resources. Crews pulled from an emergency backup well, and hauled in water from several other towns including nearby Lyndon where the water supply also took quite a hit.
     "We went down and pumped water out of the river and it went much better then."
      Once the bulk of the hose work was done the city's water system played catch up. It took about four hours for pumps to fill the tower once again. The city is re-filtering it and will chlorinate the water too before it's safe to use. The only impact on residents now is the boil order which is mandated by the EPA whenever a water system drops below 20 pounds of pressure.


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