Maryville residents are being asked to conserve outdoor water use after a pipe broke this weekend at the city’s water distribution plant on Sevierville Road.

The break, which happened late Friday night or early Saturday morning, flooded the distribution pumps to the system, according to a City of Maryville news release issued Saturday morning.

Officials say the process to restore operations will take at least 36 hours. While the problem quickly led city officials to urge residents to use only water that was necessary to survive, that changed Saturday night after the city received assistance from the South Blount Utility District and Alcoa Water Department. The two joined to pump additional water into the city’s systems, Jane Groff, community relations manager, said.

“The tanks are being filled back up now with the addition of the Alcoa and South Blount tie-ins, and they do have one pump motor working,” Groff told The Daily Times Saturday night. “So we’re just now going back to outside conservation, so people can use their inside water as usual.”

Customers on the city’s water system are asked to refrain from using water outside for gardens, lawns, pools, car washes, etc. Customers are able to continue using water internally to their residences and businesses for drinking, washing, etc.

Groff said she did not immediately know what caused the pipe to break.

“I just know it was in the area where the pumps are, and the pumps are what push the filtered water out to the system,” Groff said. “So all the pumps were flooded and they had to be removed, dried out and replaced, and then some parts had to be replaced. So it’s just a little bit of a time-consuming process.”

Groff said customers of South Blount Utility District and Alcoa Water Department are not under any conservation warning.

“They were just running some extra water throughout our system,” Groff said. “Theirs is still pumping, so it’s not depleting their supply, it’s just that they’re running to us as well.”

City officials said they would continue to keep the public informed on the progress of repairs. “In the meantime, we appreciate the public’s assistance with water conservation as we manage this situation,” the release said.

Crime and courts reporter for The Daily Times.

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