AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —During the Office of Emergency Management press conference Friday afternoon officials provided an update on pumps throughout the city.

According to Alan Harder, there are eight pumps throughout the city that are actively working to help decrease water levels.

“This includes Lawrence Lake, McDonald Lake, Martin Road Lake, T-Anchor Lake, and the temporary pump at Playa Seven,” said Alan Hader, Public Works Department. “TxDOT is actively installing an additional pump at Lawrence Lake and expects it to be operational today.”

Once the pump at Lawrence Lake was installed and in operation, officials began coordinating efforts to decrease water levels at Bennett and Lawrence Lakes.

“The current situation for Bennett is it is pumped directly to Lawrence,” said Assistant City Manager Floyd Hartman. “Then it’s pumped into that lake, and then it’s pumped out by those existing pumps.”

The pumps are expected to run throughout the weekend as long as weather and fuel levels permit.

A map of Playa lake pumping paths through the City of Amarillo in June 2023.

“During the rain, they’ll be shut down,” said Hartman. “Also, those temporary pumps that run on fuel diesel, those will be shut down while they’re fueling.”

According to Hartman the reason the city prioritized renting a pump over purchasing one is due to individual hydraulics at each lake.

“The primary consideration of buying a temporary pump is the water condition,” said Hartman. “The head pressure from the surface you pump to, to where you discharge varies from each lake. It’s very difficult to buy a pump that pumps from every lake because of those different hydraulic situations.”

Hartman continues to explain why renting a pump is better than owning one.

“So, it has been more beneficial than buying a pump that you can’t use at a lake and still have to rent one. To rent individual circumstances because it’s not every year we need it. So the frequency is a consideration. But the primary consideration for not owning a pump is that the hydraulics change from one site to another site. If you run that for an extended period of time outside of what the pump is designed, it will run the pump.”

The difference between the new pumps installed compared to those that were already in place is the amount of water pumped per minute.

“The total out of the two existing pumps, pump about 2500 gallons per minute existing,” said Hartman. “This one pump will have the capacity to pump above those two existing pumps total. That pump will add at 3000 gallons per minute to that ability to pump.”

Director of Environmental Health Anthony Spanel says they did initial testing of the city’s water and the results water typical for a flood-related event.

“There’s a lot of water out there and not a lot of contaminants,” said Spanel. “I don’t really see it as being a huge issue at this time.”

For residents whose septic tanks or well have been undated officials recommend using bottled water or boiling water.

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