Water Problems in Montrose

MONTROSE -- It's bad enough that folks in Montrose have to deal with ice and snow after the weekend's winter storm, but then Bob McKinney got a call adding to his list of troubles.

"8 a.m. this morning about conserving water from the water company and that the water levels were low in the tank," said McKinney.

But in these cold temperatures, even though the water company is asking him to conserve water, McKinney is facing issues.

"The thing is I have to keep the water on just dribbling you know. The one house I watch I got in on because it does freeze. Hey, this is the weather, you know?"

Pennsylvania American Water tells Newswatch 16 crews discovered its tanks that service about 650 homes and businesses in Montrose, were experiencing issues.

"We have storage tanks up on the hill, and we've had trouble maintaining the level in those storage tanks," said Don Kessler with Pennsylvania American Water.

Kessler said the recent wild weather is likely the cause, possibly freezing pipes in vacant homes or underground.

"And then when we get the warm spell like we had on Thursday and Friday, then the lines thaw out such that they break, and now, it just puts a strain on the water system," added Kessler.

Crews have been searching Montrose for hours looking for a cause for the low tank levels. They found some evidence near the courthouse that led them to believe there might be a break where there was another one a few weeks ago.

"We found water running into the catch basin. We tested the water for chlorine and it was heavily influenced by chlorine which would tell you it's our water and so we have a water main that's out in the street here and we figure the breaks on that and we'll be digging that up to verify that," said Kessler.

Crews uncovered a broken water line which hasn't been in use and fixed the leak there.  The water company is still asking people in Montrose to keep conserving water in case there's another problem spot.