Rural Water District 3 customers on Keetonville Hill are getting relief after Oklahoma’s Department of Environmental Quality approved water samples Wednesday, allowing district officials to open a new 12-inch waterline.
The new line is part of a $4 million project, which began two years ago after water demand exceeded the capacity of the previous infrastructure of the district.
“We are gaining height in the Keetonville tower as we speak and have almost doubled the capacity in gallons per minute,” said RWD3 Director Rick Stull.
He fully expects the area to recover quickly after opening the pipeline.
A contractor hit a separate pipeline Wednesday morning; however, due to adding the new pipeline in service, the district was unaffected by the problem, according to Stull.
A daily problem for the district is line breaks due to all the construction, he said.
Residents in the Keetonville area awoke to no water Wednesday and quickly began voicing frustration with the ongoing issue.
However, their concern was a long-term solution to the needs of the area and Stull reports that has been addressed.
In addition to the new line, Stull said once the river pump house is completed, things should go well for the higher elevations in RWD3.
The district’s customers say they are just looking for a clean reliable source of water, which is essential.
They are concerned about the need for boiling water as systems come back online. Resident Robert Dorn said he is upset by the inconvenience of cleaning appliances due to the “crud” that comes down the pipe and the reliability of water every time the temperature rises above 90 degrees.
Other residents voiced concerns about the lack of information they received this week, but currently report normal water pressure.
RWD3 board members reported at their monthly meeting Tuesday that another concern facing the district is the mixing of water from different systems.
The City of Tulsa is using chloramines and Oolagah is using chlorine the two cannot be mixed.
RWD3 is divided into two systems and operate independently to avoid mixing of the two chemicals. DEQ will need to approve the conversion of the Oologah Lake treatment facility to Chloramines. That process is expected to take two to three years.