Utility department accidentally shutting off water

Several Carson City residents have had their water shut off recently with no warning.

Tom Hoffert, Carson City utility operations manager, said the shut-offs were a result of staff error. He did not know how many people were affected.

Harvest Drive resident Robert Wiley got up to make a pot of coffee around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, only to find he had no water. A notice on his door said his water had been shut off about 10 minutes earlier. Although Wiley tried to call the water department several times, it took until 9 a.m. for someone to come turn his water back on, he said.

Hoffert said water is not usually shut off unless water wasters have been warned beforehand. Wiley said he had never received a citation.

He and his family had returned from a four-day vacation late Monday night, and he didn't check the sprinklers, which had reset and turned on the wrong day.

"If it's a repeat offender, I can understand that. I can even understand them turning the water off if there was a number I could call to have them turn my water back on," Wiley said. "I never even got ahold of someone at the water department."

Wiley said the person who returned to turn his water on said water is usually turned back on by 7 a.m. if water watchers shut it off. He was also told shutting water off if it is running on the wrong day was a new city policy.

"Conserving water is a real necessity," Wiley said. "But if they've changed their policy, they need to let people know."

Hoffert said he has several new water watchers who were confused.

"We had a lot of new people out there. A couple of tanks were being stressed last week," Hoffert said. "Some people turned off the water thinking that was the right thing to do. They've been instructed not to."

The utility department averted a Stage I water emergency last week partially with aggressive water watching. About 4,000 people have received warnings this summer. Restrictions end Sept. 30.

To reach on-call water utility staff after hours, call 775-887-2007.

For information on Carson City water restrictions, call 775-887-2355 ext. 1025.


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