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Polson water restrictions impact local business

Wash N Go Polson (Photo: NBC Montana){p}{/p}
Wash N Go Polson (Photo: NBC Montana)

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Polson continues to operate under a water emergency. Officials say water tanks dropped to critically low levels over the weekend, and they found the water tanks below 3 feet Monday.

Officials are asking residents not to water their lawns or wash their cars.

Wash N Go received a call Saturday night to voluntarily close their three car wash bays.

“We’re losing a lot of revenue just because of the water shortage,” manager David Salomon said.

The business’s automatic bay gets at least 100 cars on a good day or the weekend. Salomon says they’re losing thousands in revenue.

He says it’s fortunate they also have a busy laundromat that’s been helping them during the closure.

“I feel like some of it they could’ve seen coming a little bit because all of the tourists in town -- it was that way last year, it’s that way this year,” Salomon said.

City officials say they started seeing a high demand on their water system over the Fourth of July holiday.

A mix of high temperatures and drought conditions also played a role.

City officials closed reserve tanks at the top of Skyview Drive, which left 60 to 70 households without water for 12 hours Monday.

“During that 12 hours yesterday, we were able to recover a lot of reserves that had been lost throughout the system. We got those folks back up last night -- had a really good night,” Polson City Manager Ed Meece said.

Meece says they were able to get the tank's levels up enough that they were able to feed other tanks and recharge the entire water system.

The city provided water bottles and emergency restrooms for households impacted by the shut-off.

Meece says they visited a total of 70 homes and identified seven to 10 high-risk individuals. Officials say they took water to those individuals.

They closed the supply stations and restrooms since restoring the system. Meece says they have supplies available if a shut-off were to happen again, but he hopes that doesn’t happen.

The city says there are seven wells, and an eighth is under construction.

Meece says they’ll continue to monitor the situation every day through the next week.

“Hopefully have the ability to restore pieces of that as we go forward with the rest of the summer, especially if we get pump eight online in a temporary basis, that’ll be very helpful,” Meece said.

They are also working with commercial car wash operations to hopefully allow them to open one bay each or permit limited activity.

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