By Sarah Seeley
Guymon, Oklahoma - A $4.2 million water improvement project is now complete is Guymon and city officials hope the new system will sustain them for the next 25 years.
The completed project increases the amount of available water from 7.7 million gallons a day to 9.7 million.
It includes a one million gallon storage container, a new pump station, and three new water wells.
They hope the addition of about four miles of piping will allow for growth of the city.
"It's a good thing; it allows us to have planned continued growth," said Ted Graham, Guymon City Manager. "[It] looks at all the industrial people that could come here and [gives us the chance at a] future economic development tool, if we can, with the extra water."
Guymon Mayor Ken Huckins is also a volunteer fire fighter.
He says battling a recent fire in the city used more than one million gallons of water... That's one seventh of what the city uses every day.
Huckins says that isn't an option on days when the usage reaches its maximum.
"It's the difference between life and death," said Huckins. "You would not want to go into a fire without a fire hose."
"If it would have been in one of those days when we didn't have much water available, it could have been a bigger catastrophe than it was," said Graham.
Graham says while safety of the citizens is top priority, keeping the city out of a water rationing state is just as important as the city continues to grow.
"Those things are painful, but they are beyond the city's control," said Graham. "Water is such a finite resource."
The city's first ever back-up generator to pump water was also installed as part of the project.
Before, when power went out, the city would lose all access to stored water.
Graham says it's important that never happens again.
City officials say federal stimulus money has given them the opportunity to develop another $1 million plan to add three more water wells to the system.
The project's completion comes just as city officials lifted a month-long water restriction for residents and businesses.