The Voluntary 25% cutback in water use, requested by the City during its time of low drinking water supplies, has now been discontinued.  City Transportation and Utilities Director Miki Esposito announced late Friday afternoon that repairs have proceeded far enough to lift all restrictions.

“Everybody can do their laundry and wash their dishes and go back to normal life this weekend,” she said.

Assistant Utilities Director Donna Garden said repairs continued Friday on the electrical lines and poles supplying the Ashland well field with power as well as the wells themselves.  The final four isolated wells, on an island in the river, were reached by helicopter.

“With the exception of the northernmost horizontal collector well” she said, “the other three appeared to be in excellent condition.”  She said the other three started successfully.

Esposito provided the first estimate of damage, as well as the amount Lincoln taxpayers may have to pay out of pocket for the repairs.

“Our early estimate is $15 to $17 Million” she said,  “and we will explore what is FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) eligible.  There is a 75% reimbursement rate on FEMA eligible costs, but also insurance.”

Esposito thanked the public, businesses, and the Lincoln Water System workers for helping get through the emergency.

She closed today’s briefing by saying “Here Her e to having water again!”

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