SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — The mechanical issues have been fixed but the city of Spring Hill’s irrigation remains shut down. On Tuesday, city officials called on all residents to temporarily suspend non-essential water usage including irrigation activities until further notice.
City Manager Pam Caskie told News 2 this all stemmed from a cascading series of events. It apparently started Thursday night with a TVA substation outage that knocked systems offline. That hit close enough to Columbia’s intake for their water and knocked one of their main pumps offline.
“I think they tried to get it repaired. But on Sunday night, they had had enough of a drop and they still hadn’t been able to get it back on,” she explained. “They had enough of a drop, they asked us to reduce our usage. And they kept throttling us back because nobody was making any progress.”
She said when their tanks started to drop dramatically, city officials turned off their largest irrigation customers, which were commercial properties, big HOAs that had a lot of public spaces, and city parks. They’ve since made progress on the city’s tank levels.
This was not the city’s first time experiencing water challenges.
“Two years ago, we had the same problem. And then last year, we had the problem. The first year we had the problem I said never again, we’re not doing it, we were supposed to get this new booster station online that was supposed to increase us by 2 million gallons a day. Problem solved. Good, good deal, right? Not expecting a mechanical failure,” said Caskie. “Last year, we didn’t have the capacity because the booster station, all the supply chain issues kept us from getting the booster station online. And now this year, it was a mechanical failure, right? I’d like to tell you, Oh, this is never going to happen again. But mechanical failures are always going to potentially happen.”
Caskie explained one way they’re trying to prepare for any future issues.
“What we do have in place are three tank expansions that will give us more tank storage, which will give us more hedge against these sorts of problems,” she explained, adding that this will allow a longer period of time between telling people to conserve water and having to shut down any water services.
Spring Hill officials said they hope to lift the irrigation restrictions Thursday. Currently, residents are still asked to continue their voluntary shutoff of irrigation systems. Large commercial properties in Spring Hill are still under a mandatory shutoff.