ENGLEWOOD - First one well ran out of water, then another.
Englewood's city water well is back operating after the Starbuck wildfire, but the city of 80 people in Clark County still needs a stable water supply.
Englewood needs a new well. They've needed one for a few years, said city council member Olen Whisenhunt. The multiyear drought that started in 2010 and 2011 hurt the water supply. The city also is dealing with some quality issues. Arsenic levels are at 16 parts per billion. Regulations call for no more than 10 ppb.
Whisenhunter said as crews were fighting the blaze, which burned five residential homes in town as well as others not being lived in, the fire well ran out of water. They started using the city well, which began to decline and an electrical issue halted pumping.
They eventually were able to use an irrigation well. Fire crews fought the fire using a generator using both the city and irrigation well when power went out.
Electricity was restored about a day and a half later.
The city has since flushed the system of contaminants.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment Spokesman Matt Keith said the electrical problem was solved and the well is again in use.
County officials did send bottle water to Englewood for residents, said County Attorney Allison Kuhns, the county's wildfire spokeswoman.
Keith said KDHE has been working to help the city find a new water source for the past several years. He wasn't sure how much money had been set aside for the program or if it was still available.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Englewood in 2014 was to receive a $101,000 loan and a $484,000 grant to drill a new well, install a transmission line, replace some distribution line and install new telemetry controls.