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Valley City City Administrator David Schelkoph said Thursday that contrary to rumors, the city's water supply is not in danger of contamination, nor is there the possibility of the sewer system backing up.
The problem, Schelkoph said, is with the master lift station, and reducing pressure on the sewer system.
"Our city residents don't have to worry about a repeat of 2009," said Schelkoph. "We have contingency plans, and they are in place, that Valley City residents are safe from sewer back up. Our emergency pumps have back ups, and we have plenty of pumps if needed. What we want to avoid is using them."
Schelkoph asked that people be a little conservative with their water usage for the next couple of days. "If they could turn off the water while brushing their teeth, or not doing all the laundry at once, every little savings would relieve pressure on the sewer system and help until the lift station is back up and running," he said.
"The motors for the master lift station are being evaluated in Fargo as we speak," he said. "The manufacturer has said the pump motors are pretty rugged. With a good cleaning and replacing the bearings, they'll be ready to put back to work real soon."
The Sheyenne River south of town should be avoided for recreational purposes for a while. Schelkoph said the state Department of Health is having the city monitor the river to track for increased solids and dissolved oxygen. "What we're doing isn't good for the short term," he said, "and we want to make sure we don't damage the river. The 600 cubic-foot per second flow coming from Devils Lake is helping to dilute and flush the river system. But right now, and until further notice from the Health Department, people shouldn't swim in the river or go fishing south of Valley City."