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Broken valve causes temporary water outage

A number of Red Wing residents and buildings, including the high school campus, were without water service for part of the day Tuesday after a valve malfunctioned.

The water tower off Pioneer Road is out of service while it is being painted, so pipes and plumbing are in place at another station to provide water to the area, Public Works Deputy Director Bob Stark said. But a valve that controls pressure started to cycle Monday, continually swinging from high to low pressure.

Late Tuesday morning it stuck shut, as a technician was on his way with parts to fix the pressure issue, Stark said.

That meant no more water was flowing, and it ran out as people used up what was left in the pipes.

Many homes and other buildings in elevated parts of town were affected.

"We had quite a few calls," Stark said.

On Tuesday afternoon, crews were controlling pressure and water flow manually until the valve could be fixed. Water service should have returned to normal for users then, and the problem was expected to be fully fixed before Tuesday evening, Stark said.

"There's no safety hazards," he added.

An email from Red Wing Supt. Karsten Anderson to parents and other subscribers early Tuesday afternoon said students would remain at the high school for the day and classes likely would continue as normal Wednesday since the city expected to resolve the issue.

"Our fire alarm system is operational, the food service department prepared food for the day before we lost pressure, and we made arrangements so students can use portable bathroom units and hand sanitizer," he wrote in the message.

Anderson said parents should monitor their emails to find out if anything changes.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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