The lawn watering ban for the Casper area has been lifted. The ban was instituted by the Central Wyoming Regional Water Joint Powers Board on Monday because the intake pipe to the water treatment plant was ruptured.

The treatment plant is needed to draw water from the river for the extra demand of summer lawn watering. Paul Bertoglio, chairman of the water board, said the unusually high water table complicated the repair.

Three-foot concrete pipe:

"That was the biggest challenge was just being able to get down to it and keep the hole evacuated while we made the patch. The patch isn't a thing of beauty -- chuckle -- but it certainly will get us through the summer months here, and then we can go in and make sure, by using a much more sophisticated patch, that we don't have this problem again. "

When asked how close we came to a crisis, Bertoglio said we were fortunate to have discovered the problem early and to have had cool weather during the three days of repair.

Good timing and weather:

"We were really fortunate that the time when the problem occurred, we really weren't seeing the high demand. If we would've seen high demand, it could've been a pretty precarious position everyone would've been in with trying to keep everything from burning up and yet having enough water for just simple domestic consumption."

Domestic consumption for the region is about 6 million gallons a day, except for June, July and August, when water consumption can quadruple to more than 25 million gallons a day. Mr. Bertoglio said the repair should get us through the summer but will be worked on again this autumn.

Temporary patch:

"We do not consider that to be a permanent patch and are going to put a much more advanced fix on the pipe when the plant is no longer needed for irrigation in the fall."