CARPENDALE -- Carpendale residents are continuing to conserve and boil their water as work continues on the well system despite one setback after another.

By Ronda Wertman
Tribune Correspondent
CARPENDALE -- Carpendale residents are continuing to conserve and boil their water as work continues on the well system despite one setback after another.
A problem with the pump that supplies the water to the town was discovered last Thursday and the town immediately began making calls to local well companies to get a crew in to repair the problem.
Wayne’s Water and Wells was able to respond on Friday and installed the new pump.
“We put the new one in and it didn’t run an hour till it blew,” said Carpendale mayor Casey Lambert. “We feel it was a defective pump.”
Wayne’s brought a new pump to the town on Monday, but according to Lambert “somewhere there is an electrical problem.”
He explained that Stevens Electric is having to pull each 21-foot section out and check the wire as it goes down in the well.
“They are pulling it unit by unit and there’s 40 of them in that well,” Lambert said Tuesday. “If they find it today, it’s a matter of how long to fix it. “
On Tuesday, workers attempted to put the pump back in the well and got down 500 feet before they encountered an obstruction.
The pump was pulled out and other attempts to lower it into the 800-foot well resulted in damage to the three-phase electrical wiring.
Lambert said that plans Wednesday were to place a camera down in the well to observe conditions and if necessary, go in and cut out any obstructions.
There is potential that the well may have to be re-drilled at 500-foot mark before for pump and wiring can be reinserted.
It is estimated that with this next phase of work it could be Thursday or Friday before the pump is up and running.
An update of the Carpendale Facebook page urges residents to be vigilant in conserving water, noting that there was a “big jump in water usage Tuesday.”
“While this is an inconvenience for all of us, we have not been without water and will work hard to see that remains the case. What we ask of our citizens is to understand the complexity of the situation, and do all you can to assist us, and your neighbors in reducing the amount of water used. This means NO car washing or hosing down driveways or other unnecessary water usage” said the post.
The uncertainty of when repairs can be completed has been compounded by pump, electrical and other issues.
With the town’s water supply dwindling, the town water tank was refilled Sunday and another water transfer is tentatively planned for Friday morning to maintain water service, if needed as repair efforts continue.
“They really had a good set up. They did a fantastic job.” said Lambert of the first water transfer.
Between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday volunteers from area fire departments in Ridgeley, Fort Ashby, Fountain, Baltimore Pike, Mt Savage, Eastern Garrett, Grantsville, Springfield, Ellerslie, Patterson Creek, Midland, Bowling Green and LaVale completed the water shuttle.
Two trucks at a time were dumping into two tubs and as two would pull out two more would pull in, Lambert explained.
“They had our tank completely full,” he said of the 225,0000 gallons of water, which residents are asked to conserve and to boil before consuming.
Lambert noted that the manpower for the water hauling was all volunteer, but the town is planning to reimburse the companies for their fuel.
Ridgeley water and sewer commissioner Duke Lantz this week praised the efforts of the fire companies and all working on the repairs in Carpendale noting that town foreCarman Bobby Lambert “gave up his Sunday to help coordinate.”
Carpendale will be paying Ridgeley for the 226,900 gallons of water hauled Sunday in addition to costs for fuel and manpower with the initial bill costing an estimated $2,500 for this first water transfer.
This bill will go even higher if a second transfer is needed to maintain service to the town.
Experts working to make the repairs to the well note that issues like Carpendale is experiencing are common.
“They’ve run into it quite a few times,” said Lambert of the malfunctioning replacement pump and other issues.
As the town is on day six of issues, the after-school program at the Holy Cross Church was cancelled to help conserve water usage.
Residents are urged to follow the Carpendale Town Hall page on Facebook for official announcements from the town and are asked to share this information with others who may not access social media.
With the reserve fund, the town maintains a spare pump and motor, but nothing prepared them for this long of a process.
“We can get a back-up source,” said Lambert noting possibilities of hooking onto the other well in Millerdale or onto the City of Cumberland line that comes to the Kingsford Charcoal Warehouse in an emergency.
Lambert said that this is something the council will need to pursue and that there could be grant funds to help with the process.