OUR VIEW: Thankful for those restoring water; conserving will help supply recover

The Shawnee News-Star
City of Shawnee crews work to fix a water main break during frigid conditions.

Last week's winter storm was rough on the community. Roads may be clear now and most of the snow has melted away, but with all the frozen water lines and main breaks, lingering water supply issues remain, so the city of Shawnee isn't quite back to normal just yet.

With some water issues still ongoing and low water pressure, the city early Monday morning remained under a precautionary boil order, a drop from a mandatory boil order that was put in place on Saturday.

We know many were without water pressure, or water altogether, for most of last week and as the city continued to repair waterline breaks caused by the extreme cold.

City street crews worked long hours, many of them while standing several feet inside water-filled trenches and doing work that's difficult in normal conditions, let alone single-digit temperatures. As cold as it was just being outside for a moment during last week's arctic blast, it's a bit unimaginable to think about the conditions they faced while making repairs.

Through it all, everyone in the community was trying to deal with frigid temperatures, two snowstorms, a few rolling blackout situations and the worry about more of those, so the water situation was just one more thing making it a tough week. Many residents offered words of support, encouragement and thanks for city service crews on social media.

Shawnee was just one of many municipalities across the state dealing with water service issues, so it seems almost everyone was impacted in one way or another by the storm. Even the News-Star news staff, while working to bring everyone updates and news through the storm, faced many of the same issues, including trying to work without power at times and dealing with frozen or busted water pipes at home.

And while we certainly can't control the weather, or some of the issues that developed last week because of the winter storm, we all can continue to do our part during the process of recovery, which is ongoing.

On Sunday, Mayor Ed Bolt issued a statement that some residents and businesses were still experiencing low or no water pressure due to continued high water demand, so he encouraged citizens to continue water conservation practices until the city's water treatment plant can fully recover and pressurize the distribution system.

He asked everyone to do what they can to help conserve water — keep shower times as short as possible, wait a few days to visit a car wash, or even hold off on doing a load of laundry if you can. Checking your home for any leaks was also suggested.

All of these things can help in the bigger picture, so please do what you can to conserve.

Everyone plays a part in a community. Working together, we can get through this.