Residents have asked to conserve water while crews rescue a robot stuck in the Green Bay water pipe

GREEN BAY, WB (WBAY) – If you were planning on starting your weekend to-do list, like running the washing machine or dishwasher, watering the lawn, or washing your car, you’re asked to start Friday night. or wait for Sunday.

The Green Bay Water Department is asking residents of Green Bay, Ashwaubenon, Wrightstown, Hobart and the Town of Scott to conserve water all day Saturday, June 26, so they can retrieve a robot.

On Friday, crews were preparing to open one of the two main water lines that bring water to Green Bay in order to reach the robot stuck inside.

“Don’t take a break like December 29, 2012, when he climbed 80 feet in the air. That’s what we’re trying to avoid, ”explains Nancy Quirk, Managing Director of Green Bay Water Utility.

To avoid images that look like Old Faithful sending water through the streets of Green Bay, every 8 to 10 years the utility inspects its major 36-inch pipelines, looking for broken wires that signal problems or could cause leaks, lack of water or even water. quality or health issues.

Quirk says this would all be a big deal, so this week the utility began an inspection by placing a robot, called a pipediver, inside the pipeline.

They sent him out to navigate the water looking for trouble, but he found some unexpected trouble.

“When we put it through the first one, it got stuck at a butterfly valve, and they couldn’t get it out, even trying to change the flows and everything. It’s stuck! ”Quirk said.

This is something that Quirk says has never happened here – and perhaps not elsewhere in the country, either.

The Friday crews have started preparing the site where, on Saturday morning, they will dig a hole in the top of the pipeline and send a person to retrieve the robot.

“You’re just going with the flow, aren’t you?” You run into things like this sometimes, and you have to make the most of it and fix the issues, ”Quirk explains.

But it takes everyone’s cooperation.

Water cannot flow through this pipeline during the process, leaving just over half of the usual amount of water available to the community.

Quirk says that, especially during our recent dry weather, water usage averages about 28 million gallons per day entering the city.

They chose Saturday to do this work because it is the day with the least water consumption.

In order to ensure that hospitals have a good supply and that there is enough pressure in the hydrants in the event of a fire, the utility is asking everyone in Green Bay, Ashwaubenon, Wrightstown, Hobart and the Town of Scott, which depend on these pipelines, to conserve water.

“We are asking all these communities to help us by not watering that day. Maybe you could do your laundry tonight or Sunday instead of Saturday. You might be able to run your dishwasher at another time, ”explains Quirk.

For heavy users, the utility made the phones work and required a lot of cooperation.

“The fire departments have agreed that they will not be doing training exercises that require water. Our heavy users said they would schedule their cleaning of equipment and things to do before closing and after closing, and the parks department also agreed to close playgrounds in the city to reduce fuel consumption. ‘water,’ Quirk adds. .

She says it’s a quantity issue, not a quality issue, and doesn’t expect any safety issues or the need to boil water.

Stay with Action 2 News for updates over the weekend after the teams rescue the robot and the water supply has returned to normal levels.

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