CHILHOWIE, Va. - A town in Smyth County, Virginia is facing water woes, all because of a leak in the town's only water treatment plant.
The possible water shortage has businesses and schools turning off the tap.
Construction continues in Chilhowie as workers are trying to find a solution to the town's water woes. "We began to see the five water tanks we have go down, so we alerted everybody Thursday morning that there could possibly be a water shortage," says Chilhowie Town Manager Bill Boswell.
Boswell tells us that's because the town's single water treatment plant has a leak in one of the lines, which could affect 2, 500 customers. For now, they are planning to connect with the Washington County Water Authority. "Construction crews are trying to connect that to the Chilhowie feed. If that works, we will have more than enough water," adds Boswell.
Boswell tell us town businesses like the Valley Health Care Center are helping to conserve water by using plastic cups and plates instead of washing dishes. "We're trying to eliminate any high showering or anything they can to keep down the water usage," Boswell said.
Meanwhile, Chilhowie Elementary School is preparing for the possibility of water outages. Thursday they canceled the after-school program. "We have close to 120 students that stay here from 3:30 to 5:15, which would mean they would be using the restroom and drinking the water," says school principal Sanders Henderson.
Henderson tells us the non-working plant is the school's only source for water; if it goes out, that could cause big problems. "We have some water here that was sent down from Dr. Robinson and the school board office, so we'll have it on hand," Henderson said.
Meanwhile, Bill Boswell is asking people to cut back on water usage. "We would certainly urge people to postpone a car wash, because typically they are using a lot of water," he said.
Boswell tells us they connected to the Smyth County Water System to get water until the connection with the Washington County Service Authority is completed. He expects that to happen around 7:00 Thursday.
The school system tells us they will be speaking with Boswell and will make a call later about school Friday.