By David Hazledine
MILFORD — Milford residents have been asked to limit unnecessary water usage until further notice, following a breakdown in the cellular network controlling communication between the town’s well and water tower. The call for restricted water use came in an announcement issued by Clerk-Treasurer Tricia Gall Friday morning, Aug. 14.
“The town of Milford is asking the residents and businesses on the town’s water supply to conserve water. Please limit unnecessary water usage, such as watering lawns etc., until further notice.”
According to Utilities Superintendent Steven Marquart, Milford utilities’ 3G network is due for upgrades, having been installed four years ago. An attempt to download updates intended to extend the network until the end of the year, however, caused the system to crash.
After that, a preliminary back-up variable frequency drive pump also failed, leaving only a well unused since 1982, which Marquart must turn on manually to fill the town’s 200,000-gallon water tower. The antiquated well is only able to pump 655 gallons per minute; consequently, it takes several hours to fill the tower.
Due to COVID-related slowdowns, and because the needed replacement modem is a “specialty item” specifically designed for water utilities, Marquart does not expect delivery for roughly two weeks.
The town of Milford averages at least 115,000 gallons of usage per day, though Marquart has seen usage spike to as much as 192,000 gallons. This combined with an extended fill time, as well as the need to ensure water is available in case of emergencies, has led to the request residents conserve their water usage.