Stevensville leaders plan further water system improvements, better alerts

Posted at 9:16 AM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 11:16:52-04

STEVENSVILLE – Stevensville Mayor Brandon Dewey says now that the town’s water emergency is ending, staff will improve notifications and reconfigure one final well which continues to have problems.

The bottle of water on the Town Council table Wednesday night was a lonely reminder of a problem that has broadsided Stevensville leaders and residents at summer’s start.

The town has been struggling with emergency water restrictions for the past two weeks after the town’s system nearly ran dry.

But Mayor Dewey had some good news to deliver, “effective on Friday we can lift the restrictions a hundred percent.”

The mayor told the council a second pump had been repaired Wednesday, following the installation of the first replacement pump Monday.

“And that was a successful install. The water test came back from that today and was good to go,” Mayor Dewey said. “So that pump is fully online and the reservoir is filling. In fact, it’s full already.”

That’s a big difference from the week before last, when the town suddenly nearly went dry, sparking complaints, with some customers saying they didn’t know what was going on.

“There was a lot of people in this town that are the same way. We need to have a better form of communication,” resident Jim Tadvick said.

“It’s something that we take very seriously, to disrupt our neighbors and asking them to turn their water off,” Mayor Dewey said.

“But we were at a point where we had a foot-and-a-half to two feet of water and it was quickly dropping because everyone’s sprinklers kicked on at midnight and they didn’t heed the warnings,” he added.

Mayor Dewey told MTN News that the repairs are costly as the pumps cost up to $20,000 each.

“These pumps are manufactured in Colorado and then shipped to Spokane. And then we receive them here,” he explained. “It’s not something that’s just stocked on the shelf at TruValue.”

Now that the pumps are fixed and the water is back, the town will turn it’s attention to a final well pump which has been problematic for the past few years and the town didn’t have the money to fix it.

Mayor Dewey says the town will draw up plans to reconfigure that system and bring that well online.

“We don’t have that funding issue today. And so we’re fully developing that well and making sure whatever we put into — as far as a pump goes — we put into that well, it’s not something that we’re going to replace in six months to nine months.”

Mayor Dewey says the town is also encouraging residents to sign up for its new “robocall” system for automated alerts. He added that renters should make sure the town records reflect the actual number where they can be reached.