Water leaks spill 5 million gallons

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2017

About 4.5 to 5 million gallons of water was lost over the weekend during four water main breaks related to the weather, city officials said.

The four leaks, which happened at various times Saturday evening through Sunday evening, likely were caused by sudden changes in the water temperature, city Public Utilities Director Al Moor said.

“The sudden changes in water temperatures has an impact on the pipe material,” Moor said. “It’s not that the pipes froze, per se.”


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Moor said the same problem can occur when water goes from cold to warm.

“I’m hoping when it gets warm again this week, we are fortunate,” he said.

The problems started Saturday, which featured more than eight inches of snow on the ground and bitter cold. A pipe off Bennetts Creek Park Road was the first to go. The repair was completed by about 2:30 a.m., Moor said.

On Sunday morning, a pipe burst off King’s Fork Road near Waters Road. At the same time, a break occurred in Woodlake. Later Sunday, a break occurred in Lake Kennedy.

Customers were affected by loss of water pressure and no water.

Moor praised the 15 employees in the field who worked diligently in frigid conditions to fix the issues.

Water customers also were grateful for their work. Cathy McEntire, who lives off King’s Fork Road, was among those who were grateful.

“When the rest of the city was closed, they were out there working,” she said. “And it was cold, but they were super nice and walked down to give us updates.”

McEntire said the city delivered five-gallon jugs of spring water to her house. Her family was also melting snow on the stove to flush the toilet.

Still, she said, “It’s not as bad as being without power.”

“You’d be surprised how little water you can get away with using,” she added. “You find that you just don’t need as much.”

Repairs on the leaks have been completed, city spokeswoman Diana Klink said, but restoration of pavement and topsoil will have to wait on better weather.