City suffers 3 water line breaks in one day
Seligman deals with that issue, urges customers to follow state law
The city of Seligman faced some issues with water line breaks on Aug. 9, as three breaks occurred in one day resulting in thousands of gallons of water lost.
Brian Nichols, Seligman city clerk, said all three breaks were a result of people not contacting the state before digging or other projects.
“The estimated water loss was around 30,000 gallons,” he said. “That particular cost for the city was about $16.”
Nichols said any time someone wants to dig, drive a post or do anything like that, they should always check to see what is below the ground.
“It is state law,” he said. “Anytime you dig for any reason, you are supposed to call 1-800-344-7483 (DIG-RITE).”
Nichols said the phone call only takes a few moments.
“They ask for your address, where you will be digging, what kind of equipment you will be using and how deep you will dig,” he said. “Then, they place a call for any utilities in the area, they notify any and all utilities electric, telephone, fiberoptic and water/sewer lines.”
Nichols said once utilities are notified, they have four days to go out and mark the lines.
“We have to give four business days, unless it is an emergency, to get out there and mark everything,” he said. “In these cases last week, that call was not made and caused some issues.”
Nichols said it was a very eventful day, and it is not very often that happens, but three breaks in one day can be chaotic.
“Water line breaks have happened plenty of times in the past, and we have pamphlets we give out, and the information is on the back of water bills,” he said. “You don’t want to wait until it is too late.”
Nichols said all three breaks were taken care of the same day they happened.
“The very last one, where someone was driving a post, came in at about 9 p.m. that Friday,” he said. “I was out with one of our maintenance guys until 12:30 in the morning fixing that.”
Nichols said some of the issues that can be a consequence of a broken water line include the risk of contaminating water for other people on that line.
“Any time there is a break in the line, you have the ability to introduce dirt, debris and bacteria into the water,” he said. “Anybody down the line could get sick because of that.”
Nichols said any time there is a break in the line, the city has to disinfect it.
“That’s not to mention all of the additional money in flushing the lines out to make sure there is no contaminates there,” he said. “Two of the breaks happened on one line, so that was an easy fix. The other one took longer because it was a larger line and we had to pull multiple meters to get it flushed.”
Nichols said that thankfully, that one was in the evening, so no one was really using water.