After almost a week without water, Englewood’s well is back up and running, although the town of about 80 people is still under a boil ban.
Over the past few days, water has been pumped into the town’s water tower, bottles have been driven in by the thousands and a fire truck was set up for people to get buckets of water for washing and flushing toilets.
Now, they’re glad to have their well back – and there is plenty of bottled water left if they don’t want to spend time boiling well water.
“We have enough water now we won’t have to drink the city water for quite a while,” joked Englewood Mayor Olen Whisenhunt. “We’ve got truckloads of water now.”
After suffering more per capita damage of any town in Kansas in the largest wildfire to burn across the state, residents returned to what was left of their homes to find that an electricity outage had shut off their well’s purification system, putting them under a boil ban. Not long afterward, problems with wiring caused water to stop being pumped correctly in the well, Whisenhunt said.
With water being used to put out fires, the well quickly dried up.
The wiring problem wasn’t fixed until around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Whisenhunt said.
During the week, people drove truckloads of bottled water from Ashland High School to Englewood, sometimes making multiple trips per day.
County Commissioner Jim Daily drove his equipment for such a trip Saturday, before the well was fixed.
“We’re doing what we can do,” Daily said. “I’m assuming we’ll be taking a lot over there.”