Saxman’s main water source freezes, officials urge conservation

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City officials in Saxman are asking the community’s 400 residents to limit water use as temperatures remain well below freezing. That’s because the small city’s primary water reservoir froze over Friday amid Alaska’s most significant cold snap since 2012.

Saxman city officials say the city’s residents should have plenty of water for everyday needs.

“They can drink water, they can cook they can do any of that kind of thing that they would normally do,” said city administrator Lori Richmond.

But she’s appealing for the 113 homes and businesses on city water to conserve.

Related: As temperatures drop, water consumption rises in Wrangell

“I’m asking them to maybe save their laundry for Sunday. Don’t run the dishwasher twice today. If the dog doesn’t need a bath for another couple days, put off giving the dog a bath,” she said.

Richmond says Saxman should be switched over to a newly-constructed reservoir by Sunday

“I did put out a notice — a water conservation notice — just in case there was some hiccup in getting source two online,” she said.

If there is a hiccup, Richmond says the city will dispatch crews to thaw Saxman’s primary reservoir. That’s standard procedure. 

In Ketchikan, the city is reporting water use up about 60 percent. That’s likely from people leaving faucets open to prevent pipes from freezing over. Ketchikan city officials say there are no issues with supply, but they encourage residents to use pipe insulation or heat tape to prevent bursts.