Water leak creates muddy rivers, waterfalls

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite
Water flows from an underground water leak in the parking lot of Crystal Rock Cathedral Thursday, May 6, 2021. A water main leak along the road completely saturated the ground beneath the nearby parking lot.

Some Ardmore drivers found themselves travelling alongside a small river around midday Thursday. Muddy water gushed from cracks beneath the Crystal Rock Cathedral parking lot on 12th Avenue Northwest for about an hour and sent hundreds of gallons of water down storm drains in the neighboring Ardmore Commons parking lot.

Ardmore Public Works Director Shawn Geurin said he is unsure when a 12-inch PVC water main along 12th Avenue Northwest developed a lateral crack. He said only a handful of businesses and homes — roughly a dozen customers — were without water on Thursday afternoon while crews worked to replace the line.

Guerin said crews were able to shut off the water about an hour after his department was notified. He said more customers would have been impacted by the water main leak but many customers were back-fed from other water mains and were not impacted.

A man watches water gush from an underground water leak and pour into the parking lot of Ardmore Commons Thursday, May 6, 2021.

"Once they can go over there and get on the valves, depending on how many valves they have to turn, those guys can get that stuff shut off pretty quick most of the time," Geurin said.

Ardmore police noticed the leak and notified public works around noon, according to public safety radio traffic. The flow of water along 12th Avenue Northwest and in the Ardmore Commons parking lot appeared to slow significantly shortly after 1 p.m.

A bird investigates water bubbling up from a water main leak near 12th Avenue Northwest Thursday, May 6, 2021.

On Friday morning, Guerin said crews were able to have the line replaced shortly after 10 p.m. on Thursday and completed their work before midnight.