Claremore Daily Progress

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July 19, 2012

High temps increasing waterline breaks

CLAREMORE — Claremore has been experiencing a number of water leaks this summer. During the past three weeks, the city’s water department has fixed seven major leaks and a number of smaller leaks throughout the city.

Director of Public Infrastructure Jeremy Ledbetter has been overseeing the repairs and said the weather is the root cause.
“Demand is so high due to the weather,” Ledbetter said. “The water plant has kept running on high pressure due to that.”
The water tower has been completely drained three times, during that time period due to major leaks, according to city officials.
The age of city infrastructure has caused weak spots and dry ground is a contributing factor, Ledbetter said.
“Currently, there is no concern for water rationing,” Ledbetter said. “We should not have any issues keeping adequate water.”
City crews have been fixing leaks around the clock, he added.
When a leak occurs it can take up to two hours before work can even begin.
City officials must contact area utilities and request dig tickets  before beginning work.
The utility, cable and gas companies have a two-hour window to locate other buried utilities.
“Once the utilities are located, then it can take an hour or sometimes three to four hours depending on the amount of parts needed and the area we are working,” Ledbetter said.
“Sometimes the issue is small and older pipes with limited bedding around them can create a problem.”
The size of the leak is also a concern.  Factors that contribute to the impact of leak depend on the day of the week and time it occurs. 
On the weekends when everyone is home using water, it can take longer to fill towers and regain water pressure, he said. The water department is working to insure leaks are fixed as quickly as possible, but there are a few things citizens can do to help.

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