ASHLAND — Ashland City Manager Ben Bitter had some positive news to report Tuesday morning regarding the city's ongoing water crisis.
According to Bitter, the level in the Deboard Hill water storage tank, the city's main one, climbed from 21 feet to 37 feet overnight.
Low levels in the Deboard tank have been the major reason many Ashland water users have experienced low pressure and no pressure for the past week because the tank pressurizes the entire system. The city has had trouble filling the tank due to water loss from numerous line breaks caused by the extreme shifts in temperatures.
Bitter said the tank began refilling at a faster clip after a meter reader went out Monday and checked the meters of other water systems that draw from Ashland. What he found were readings that were much higher than normal, in some cases 1,000 times above normal, he said. Those readings, he said, were indicative of line breaks and water loss in other systems "beyond our purview."
Bitter said officials would continue to closely monitor the level in the Deboard tank, and that more users should see their pressure return if it continues to rise.
Also, Bitter noted that Ashland and Boyd County had merged their bottled water distribution operations at the Summit-Ironville Fire Department on Ky. 716. This is the only site in the county where free drinking water will is being handed out; the sites in Ashland and Catlettsburg have been closed.
Distribution hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m; proof of county residency and a photo ID are required, and there is a one-case-per-household limit.
Bulk water is also available at the Ashland Water Plant, 4040 Winchester Ave., but it must be boiled before drinking or used for cooking.
To report a water line break or other water-related issues, call (606) 327-2058 0r (606) 327-2008.