The city of Clarksville is requesting its residents conserve water after the city's water treatment plant was unexpectedly shut down Monday night due to an ongoing construction project at the facility.
The temporary shutdown resulted in critically low water storage tank levels in the system.
As a result, many areas of Clarksville were without water service Tuesday and some areas were experiencing low water pressure.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County school system dismissed two hours early.
District spokesperson Elise Shelton said the decision to close early was made because there was not sufficient water for cooking, cleaning and restroom use, as well as fire protection.
“The tanks were brought down to levels we were uncomfortable with and we didn't have the capacity to refill them at the rates we would have liked to until we got the plant back up and running,” explained Pat Hickey of GM Clarksville Gas and Water.
In addition, Clarksville High School, Richview Middle School and St. Bethlehem and Barksdale elementary schools were totally without water, Shelton said.
“The biggest concern we had [was] that there would not be fire protection at some of the schools because the water pressure would not be high enough,” Shelton said.
The Clarksville Area YMCA closed at Noon and cancelled all after-school programs.
Clarksville Gas and Water asked residents to conserve water by minimizing unnecessary water usage until tanks fill to normal levels.
Industrial and business customers were asked to restrict water usage until further notice. Car wash business owners were also asked to close for the day.
Officials said the water treatment plant is currently undergoing a major construction project to expand capacity and upgrade filtration technology.
Operations were shut down Monday evening to allow the contractor time to make plumbing modifications but service was restored around 7 p.m.
About an hour, around 8 p.m., the plant operator was forced to shut the plant down after noticing a clogged line.
Maintenance crews worked through the night to make necessary repairs. The water plant began pumping around 5 a.m. but water level had already dropped to critical levels.
Plant managers expected water levels to reach adequate levels to sustain usual demand by Tuesday evening.
The city said water quality was never compromised.
Updates on the situation will be posted online at ClarksvilleGW.com.