Rural Water Assists Community after Water Tank Freezes, Saves $30,000

RAMSEY, Mont. – When sub-zero temperatures froze a riser pipe, the Ramsey County Water and Sewer District contacted Montana Rural Water Systems for assistance.

“We were working in 35-below weather and trying to find people to help in this emergency,” Ramsay Secretary Gayle Hunt said in a letter. “Although the people of Ramsay had sufficient water, we did not have a reserve in case of a fire.”

Nick Clos, a MRWS Circuit Rider, arrived the same day and began evaluating the situation. Circuit Riders are roving water system experts that provide training and technical assistance to the water systems in their area.

“The way the pumps were running, it showed the elevated tank had been frozen for two or three weeks,” Clos said.

The Circuit Rider used a pair of fire hydrant relief valves to bypass the frozen tank, allowing the system to supply water until the line thawed and could be repaired. He also adjusted the pumps to fit the new conditions.

“Nick demonstrated his work ethic and professionalism,” Hunt said. “He brought equipment and helped set it up. He made suggestions of where we could go for possible emergency funding, which proved to be extremely important.”

The assistance is estimated to have saved the community $30,000.
“We can’t tell you how much we appreciated Nick’s help,” Hunt said. “The District has learned many lessons and without Nick’s help we would never have known how to proceed.”