Water levels return to normal following Thursday water main break
Repairs to a water main that broke overnight Thursday are complete, and water levels appear to be in good shape again, assistant city administrator Kathy Bard said Tuesday.
Tonganoxie officials had been encouraging local residents not to water lawns, fill swimming pools or wash vehicles as the city replenished the amount of water lost when about 200,000 gallons of water spewed out of a broken pipe in the northeast area of town. The break in the 8-inch main was caused by a rusted valve.
Through the weekend, Wholesale Water District No. 6 in Bonner Springs sent water to Tonganoxie to help the city recover. The district normally supplies 25 to 40 percent of Tonganoxie’s water.
Monday, the district turned off the spigot because the water district has a leak of its own to repair.
On Friday, there were concerns about low water levels in the city, especially with the Leavenworth County Fair, which took place this past week in Tonganoxie.
“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.
Bard said water conservation is voluntary and was being encouraged even more so with the break.
“We encourage conservation and will continue to until we have BPU,” Bard said, referring to a connection to the Kansas City, Kan., Board of Public Utilities, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The recent rains and cooler weather seemed to help the situation as well, Bard said. She also noted that water usage can increase when the weather is nicer because residents are more apt to get outside and do things such as wash their cars when the weather is much more favorable.
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.
— Reporter Shaun Hittle contributed to this story.