A massive water line failure on Orchard City's new West Side main line leaked an estimated 1.6 million gallons of treated water into the ground last month.
The failure also dampened pre-Christmas spirits of town water utility workers who struggled in the cold, wet dark into early morning hours restoring service to customers.
The break, which occurred above Cedaredge, was caused by an approximately six-foot-long split in the new, polymer main distribution line, town trustee Jimmie Boyd told the Delta County Independent.
The cause of the failure isn't known for certain, but "ground movement" associated with cold weather is a leading suspect. Representatives from the manufacturer and distributor of the line are expected on site soon to evaluate the situation and possibly make recommendations.
Work crews, laboring until 3 a.m. one morning, eventually got a patch in place, though there is still some leakage, Boyd said.
The town's water utility has been making consistent progress on stopping leakage from its sprawling distribution system. Boyd, speaking at the town board's Jan. 8 meeting, said that treated water loss has gone from an average 32.8 percent total loss in 2011 and 2012 to an average 22 percent loss in 2013, until the big break last month. Town officials say that a 10 to 12 percent loss is unavoidable in a system with as many miles of line as Orchard City's.
• In another water matter, Orchard City trustees agreed to pay a $403 claim from a rural customer whose water heater pop-off valve tripped when the town restored service after repair work and the customer's basement was flooded. The customer was not at home at the time.
Trustee Gale Doudy said, "I think we have no choice but to pay this," adding, "We need to come up with a policy on this to keep it from happening."
• In a third water matter, Doudy followed up a previous report he gave on a U.S. Forest Service "intervention" in the town's permit application for a hydro power unit at the treatment plant.
Doudy said he was told by an agency representative that the intervention was to their rights, and that there were no objections being thrown in the way of the town's permit application by the agency.blog comments powered by Disqus