CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Pratt Mayor Gary Fields asked residents in his town, and the surrounding area, to conserve water after finding a low level in the town's water tank on Wednesday.
Fields said keeping water in the tank is a continuing problem for the town's troubled water system. He asked residents in Pratt, Hansford, Paint Creek and Crown Hill to use water only if necessary and said he would issue a boil-water advisory if it's required Wednesday evening.
At about 1 p.m. Wednesday, a neighbor called Fields to complain about low water pressure. Fields then discovered the water pressure in the town hall restroom also was low.
Fields said whenever the nearby Kanawha River is high, the town's water system switches from a raw water intake pump to a portable water intake pump.
By Wednesday, that pump had not been switched and enough water hadn't been filtered into the town's water tank. Fields said operators tried to switch the pumps Saturday but it kicked the breaker off.
Operators would pump water most of Wednesday night and Thursday morning to fill the tank up again, he said.
Usually water operators are OK leaving their shift at 7 p.m. and returning the next day at 4 p.m. Fields said he would investigate to find out how much water was measured in the tank when the operator left work Tuesday night.
West Virginia American Water Co. had been notified and it is running the portable intake pump, he said. The town has previously asked the water company to take over the town's water plant, which provides service to about 750 people.