Archive for Friday, August 13, 2010

Crews working to fix water main break; residents asked to conserve water

August 13, 2010, 10:05 a.m.

Updated: August 13, 2010, 2:58 p.m.

Tonganoxie officials continue to work to repair a water main break as an area provider it depends on for a portion of its water is dealing with a break of its own.

So city officials are asking residents to refrain from watering lawns, filling swimming pools or washing vehicles.

Utilities superintendent Kent Heskett said the break in the 8-inch main was caused by a rusted valve and occurred in northeast Tonganoxie about 11 p.m. Thursday. That caused the loss of about 200,000 gallons of water, said Lloyd Wisdom, lead utility operator for the city.

The city receives between 25 and 40 percent of its water supply from Wholesale Water District No. 6 in Bonner Springs. That district, however, has its own water main break and is expected to shut off its water supply to Tonganoxie at some point.

The Leavenworth County Fair is taking place this week in Tonganoxie as well.

“This is probably one of our high times for usage,” Heskett said.

Before Thursday night's break, city crews had addressed at least one small water line break a day during recent hot weather, Heskett.

In Lawrence, Dave Wagner, city utilities director, said his department also has dealt with some minor water line leaks caused by the extreme heat. Hot weather dries out the soil, which can cause pipes to shift. In older piping, or those with even minor imperfections, leaks can occur, Wagner said. The issue is compounded in the summer, as more water flows through the pipes because water use is up.

The Leavenworth County Emergency Operations Center is on standby, so other fire departments in the county will be available with water in the event of any fire emergencies in Tonganoxie.

And water in Tonganoxie is safe to drink, because there are no contamination issues, said Kathy Bard, assistant city administrator.

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