Some of Aqua Indiana's customers in Aboite Township reported lingering issues with their water pressure Wednesday, a few days after a broken water main caused trouble for the already-strained system.
About 20 users had called the private utility to complain about low pressure Wednesday morning, Aqua Vice President Bill Etzler said. While Aqua had resolved the issues that caused a major drop in pressure Sunday night, continued high demand and minor leaks could still threaten pressure during peak usage times, he said.
“We have found a couple of other minor issues,” Etzler said. “Right now it's an hour-by-hour evaluation.”
To help the system cope with record-high demand, Aqua would start drawing water from Fort Wayne's public water utility Wednesday night to supply about 1,400 customers north of Indiana 14 between Hadley and Scott roads, the company said in a news release.
Aqua recently issued a series of notices asking customers to cut back on watering their lawns because of high demand and drought-like conditions. But Aqua believes many customers have ignored the advice, Etzler said.
The utility normally sees peak usage 6-9 a.m. and 5-8 p.m., but in recent weeks has noticed a third peak overnight, Etzler said. Aqua officials believe the third peak may be caused by customers setting their sprinklers to start running at night, he said.
Etzler blamed the ongoing problems on the high usage combined with an assortment of small leaks such as at fire hydrant valves and connection points where individual homes link to the system.
“This is so unusual, we're just looking at any possibility of where the water's going,” he said.
Reports of problems have been scattered throughout Aqua's service area, Etzler said. The utility serves more than 10,000 customers in southwest Allen and Whitley counties, including many Fort Wayne residents. Aqua crews were working Wednesday to find exactly where leaks were occurring, Etzler said.
On Sunday night, Aqua found that an 8-inch water main had broken, draining a “significant” amount of water from the utility's supply, according to a statement issued this week by Aqua President Tom Bruns.
One of the utility's water pumps also failed because of round-the-clock usage, Bruns said in the statement.