Young County Commissioners broke in the middle of their meeting Thursday afternoon to handle a water emergency developing in Olney. Trucks with potable water are currently being prepared and sent from multiple locations throughout the county, according to Young County Commissioners.
A leak was discovered early Thursday morning in the two water lines that run from the Olney Lake Treatment Facility to the water storage tanks in town that are used to supply citizens. The two lines, one 10-inch and the other 12-inch, run alongside one another and are both severed leaving no connection between the lake and town.
The only water available to citizens in town comes from two 30-foot water tanks. One tank holds 250,000 gallons and the other 100,000, and both have about five feet of water left in them, according to Olney Public Works Administrator K.C. Blassingame.
“Right now we are using between 300,000 and 350,000 gallons of water a day,” said Blassingame.
According to Blassingame's estimates, Olney has just under 60,000 gallons of water remaining in the water towers.
“We'll have to let city crews find and fix the leak and then fill storage tanks back up,” said Young County Commissioner Stacey Rogers. “We've been through this before.”
On Christmas Eve, 2010, a different line broke but caused a similar situation. It took three days to repair the leak and replenish the tanks in town, said Olney Enterprise Editor Mindi Kimbro.
County Commissioner Mikes Sipes had precinct one road crews fill and haul a 6,500 gallon tank of water to Olney that he said should arrive at around 3:30 p.m. today.
“We're going to the nearest source to fill it up,” said Sipes.
Commissioner Jimmy Wiley said crews are preparing a 40-barrel truck to fill with water and take to Olney, and that commissioners are also currently working with the City of Windthorst to fill two 9,000 gallon milk trucks with potable water to make the trip.
The wet weather late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning complicated the repairs making the leak difficult to locate. The lines run through a plowed field, and in drier weather the location of the leak would be easily decipherable through distinctive ground moisture.
The Graham Leader will update this story as more becomes known.