On an average winter day Graham will consume 3 million gallons of water. The large water tank on the top of the hill near 5th and East Streets holds 1 million gallons, the same amount as has been lost.
The water is being lost as a result of an underground water leak caused by Texas State Utilities Inc., a contracter hired by TX Gas Services to replace some ageing gas lines in town.
Crews have been working since Friday afternoon to repair the leaks, with some crew members on duty non-stop for over 30 hours, according to reports on site.
The City of Graham will bill TX Gas Services for all costs related to the repair of the breaks and water lost. Casteel can't be sure of the cost until Monday, but approximated the figure at $30,000.
The problem is with a line that runs perpendicular under Fourth Street along the alley behind Elm Street. Crews on site now think the line was hit in at least three different places by TSU and 100 feet of 6-inch diameter pipe now needs to be replaced.
The line was punctured after TSU bored a hole running north and south down the alley behind Elm Street. They were pulling a new gas line through the hole when the problem was noticed. This is the third city-owned line that has been hit in two weeks by TSU.
City officials such as Jack Graham, Barry White, and David Casteel have been on site to assist in the repairs.
The Steele Grill near the corner of 3rd and Elm street was unable to open Saturday, their busiest day of the week, due to the leak. Business owner Shane Steele said the closure of his business has probably cost him $2,500.
“I lost money,” said Steele. “That not a huge amount for a lot of people but for a business like mine that doesn't affect me for the month, that affects me next week. That's money that I did not make, that does not get deposited to my bank account, to cover all the expenses of a week. It's just a big deal.”
It will probably be Sunday before the leak is fully repaired, said Casteel.
The Graham Leader will update this story as it unfolds.