POSEY CO., IN (WFIE) - Residents in New Harmony woke up to no water this morning. Officials say they shut the water off to replace aging fire hydrants.
A turn of a few nobs and just like that the people of New Harmony were without water, which gave crews a perfect opportunity to get to work.
This is the third time in three years that the crews have shut down the water to replace old fire hydrants throughout the city. Officials say they usually replace four or five at a time.
Utility Superintendent Bobby Grider says that turning the water off is the easiest way to get the job done.
“You can change a hydrant without shutting the water down, but you have to do what they call a hydro stop...Very expensive, and it’s just not cost effective," Grider said. "It’s a little inconvenience, but in the long run with the upgrading the system, putting new hydrants in. These hydrants are original fire hydrants, they’re 50 plus years old, you just have to do it.”
After three years of similar situations, local businesses understand the need.
“You know we understand that cut offs to utilities sometimes are necessary to make replacements to the infrastructure so it’s nice to see that the town is investing in that and fixing those things as they occur," said Eli Frashier, the Rooms Division Manager at the New Harmony Inn.
Frashier says in the wake of the impending water shutdown and the subsequent boil order that will follow, he and his staff have stocked up on water and ice for their guests.
“With the lead time we’re able to get from the town, it gives us a little bit of an opportunity to prepare for something like this," Frashier said.
There are four crews working on the project, which is twice as many as the city had in 2017. During that year’s project, water was shut off for roughly 6 hours. Grider says that with more crews working, he hopes the water gets turned on much faster.
Following this round of replacements Grider says they still have about 20 hydrants that need to go. Those will be replaced over the next four to five years. He says the hope is to do another round of replacements in the summer.