?We?ve ramped up to the demand we were using over the weekend,? Paine said. ?At the same time, we?re at full water-tower capacity. It?s something we do in the summer to make sure we keep those things topped off.?
The city?s two water towers hold sufficient water for about four days of normal use, he added.
Paine said a plan is being developed, in cooperation with Marion, which uses the same pump station, to flush out the meddling mussels by adding a release valve at the end of a 12-inch line.
When the valve is opened, the weight of the water in the dam should force water through the line at an estimated 2,000 gallons per minute.
?That creates enough velocity that the zebra mussels won?t stick to the pipe,? Paine said. ?We think the water pressure at the head of the dam would create that.?
Paine estimated the flushing effort wouldn?t begin until Tues?day or Wednesday of this week.
?We still have some issues around finding a contractor who will get out there and dig this thing,? he said Monday. ?We?re dealing with some slope issues (at the dam). Where we dig and how we dig is going to be important.?
With four days of water stored in the city towers. Paine said he isn?t concerned about the local supply, even with temperatures forecast in the low 100s for the entire week.
?If it doesn?t flush well, and we?re not able to keep pumping to a higher level, then we?re going to have to worry about it,? he said.
Paine said the city will be monitoring the situation daily. If the city is forced to enact emergency water-conservation practices, residental and commercial customers will be notified by hand-delivered notices.
?It?s going to be important that, from our side, we try to do what we can to keep (the water supply) going so people can keep their gardens and their landscape,? Paine said. ?But if it gets to the point that we can?t do that, taking care of one another is more important than that.?
If water restrictions are enacted, daily updates will be made available online at cityofhillsboro.net and hillsborofreepress.com as well as the city?s Facebook page.