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Work remains on Cottonwood Shores water system

Cottonwood Shores water plant pumps

Cottonwood Shores officials tapped staff and outside experts to get the water system back online following the February storm, but some of the fixes are temporary and the city will need to purchase at least two new pumps. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

It was a tireless team effort that helped restore water to city of Cottonwood Shore residents and businesses following the February winter storm. 

Along with city crews and departments, other experts, such as welder Nate McGuire, lent a hand to get the water flowing. McGuire used his skills to place a cast-iron weld on a water intake pump as a temporary fix.

“Cast iron is not something you can weld very easily,” City Administrator J.C. Hughes said. “It’s like cutting an aluminum can in half and trying to weld it together.”

But McGuire managed the challenging task of sealing a crack at the pump. Once he was done and Mother Nature brought out the sunshine, the water began moving through the city’s water system and into residents’ homes and local businesses.

However, the system has two pump housings that froze and cracked in the February freeze. While McGuire was able to use a cast-iron weld to fix one of the pump housings, the crack on the second fixture was too wide and too far around the housing for even a temporary fix, Hughes said.

The city is going to replace the two pumps and housings at a cost of $31,382.68. Staff has already filed an insurance claim for the damages to the equipment to recoup the cost.

“There’s no other option,” Hughes told the City Council during a March 4 meeting. “We had to have these. I think we can breathe a sigh of relief once we get the new pumps in.”

Hughes also gave a report to councilors about what he and staff believe the city needs in case of future storms. At the top, Hughes said, are generators for different parts of the water system.