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Nov 4, 2011 4:11 PM by Andy Koen

Pressure problems keeping taps dry in Widefield

The Widefield Water and Sanitation District is having trouble building up enough water pressure in its system to restore service to about 400 customers who have been without water since midnight.

District Manager Steve Wilson says a damaged water main near Fontaine and Grinnell has been repaired, but high demand is keeping the system from building enough pressure to completely restore service. So, Wilson is encouraging customers to close all of their faucets to help expedite the process.

The utility had been replacing its water mains using a "hot-tap" method which prevents a disruption in service. On Tuesday, a new pipe being installed at Fontaine and Grinell was damaged. Concerned that it may rupture, Wilson says the decision was made to drain the system and repair the damaged pipe.

He says Widefield Water employees posted notices on the doors of each of the affected customers last night warning them that their service would be shut-off during the repair. Customers were told to expect to have the water back on at 5:00 a.m., but Wilson says the repair work wasn't finished until 5:30 a.m.

As a result, many customers turned on their faucets this morning expecting water but were denied. That demand also slowed down the ability to build pressure in the system. Wilson says if all of the faucets were turned off, it should take between 2-3 hours to build up pressure. However, at the current rate, it may not be back until Saturday.

The loss of water pressure forced the Widefield School District to cancel class at Watson Junior High. A district spokesperson says parents of about 650 students were called to come and pick up their children.

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