City works to repair broken waterline: One million gallons leak during overnight break

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
A crew with the City of Ardmore works to repair a break in a waterline behind Homeland on Thursday, October 7. The break occurred overnight and left some businesses without water for most of the day.

An overnight break in a waterline behind Homeland saw the city lose approximately one million gallons of water and left a few businesses in the immediate area without water on Thursday. City crews were on the scene making repairs by the early hours of the morning, and as of Thursday afternoon expected to have the line repaired and service restored by the end of the day.

Ardmore Public Works Director Shawn Geurin said the break occurred around 3:30 a.m. in a 16 inch line located behind the grocery store. The city was alerted to the break due to the dramatic drop in water levels at the water towers. The break was located and the line turned off within around an hour.

"The water plant monitors our water tower elevations, and we detected that they had dropped about three feet in three minutes," Geurin said. "They contacted the supervisors, and by 4:30 we had it located and were already turning it off. By then we had lost a little over a million gallons out of the tower."

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Guerin said the city uses an average of about seven million gallons a day, so a one million gallon leak is quite significant. Because the water levels dropped so quickly, the city knew that the leak must be coming from one of the city's larger lines, and a 16 inch line — such as the one that broke — is one of the biggest. This allowed officials to narrow down the search.

"If a break happens during the day, most of the time people will see it and let us know where the leak is coming from, but at night we've got to do a little detective work," Geurin said. "We knew that it had to be coming from a big line, so we focused on them. So we started tracing those bigger lines to find it."

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The crew was still working on completing the repair as of 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, and Geurin said he expected everything to be fixed by the end of the day.

To report a water leak in the City of Ardmore call (580) 226-3772 any time day or night. The number connects directly to the city water warehouse during the workday and contacts the on call service after 4:30 p.m. and on the weekends. The service will then send the information the crew on call.