A 14-inch line running through town from the water plant has burst on Pecan and Third Streets at approximately 6 p.m., currently rendering an unknown amount of people without water. As of now, both streets are flooded.
City Manager David Casteel said that water system pressure was restored by 6:45 p.m. and estimated the loss at 325,000 gallons. Utility Superintendent Randall Dawson and city workers worked to shut the water in the area off within an hour of the line break.
“As far as people without water... it will be on Pecan Street from Fifth Street to Second Street, and then Second Street from Pecan to Oak,” Dawson said. “And that should be all that's affected with the water loss.”
He added that he installed a valve between Fourth and Fifth streets five years ago that allowed workers quicker access to shutting off city water, thereby saving countless gallons of water. Dawson said that building water pressure blew off a portion of the side of the line, and he hopes that the repair will be finished within four hours of 7 p.m.
Most of the businesses on the Graham Square were closed at the time of the line break, but workers for both Stogies vapor shop and Studio 12 Group fitness, both on Oak Street at the Square, confirmed either fluctuating or no water pressure.
Casteel also confirmed that United Supermarket on Highway 16 was briefly without water, but pressure for the store has returned.
“This is an old cast iron line and was installed in the 1940s,” Casteel said. “Three valves isolated the break, (and) the area bound by Oak, Second, Pecan and Fifth (Streets) will be without service until the leak is repaired.”
According to Casteel, there is a gas line near the water line, and city workers are waiting on line locators before they can dig up the break and begin repairs.
“We won't know the extent of the break until the line is exposed, but it is safe to guess that the extremely dry and shrinking soil has caused pressure on the line and contributed to the break,” Casteel said.