I have four news feeds to the right; one feeds a news search for “water towers”, another for “freak” accidents involving water, the third for “water main break” and the last (Hot News) picks up “boil water” headlines. This news item today from Gallatin, Missouri hit all four feeds…
The city of Gallatin watched 626,000 gallons of water go down the drain Saturday, August 9. The problem was caused by a water line break inside the clear well located at the water plant east of town around 8 or 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, according to City Administrator Zac Johnson.
“It drained the system completely,” he said. “And there was no way to shut it off.”
The clear well is a huge cement tank in the ground that holds 300,000 gallons of water. After the water is treated it is put in the clear well and from there goes to the water towers. When the line broke, the water from the towers backed up into the clear well. Mr. Johnson said he thought the water towers were close to full since it happened early in the morning. The old water tower runs 75,000 gallons and the new water tower runs 250,000 gallons. The system is interconnected.
A diving crew came Saturday about 2 p.m. and checked the clear well and discovered that a pipe had come apart. The clear well had to be emptied in order for a crew to get in to fix it.
Mr. Johnson said he wasn’t sure what caused the pipe to separate. “It wasn’t like it was an old line that had corroded. Where two pieces hooked together, it just came apart.”
He added that it was not something that could have been discovered by a routine check of the pipes. “It was a freak thing that happened,” he said.
About 12 midnight Saturday, the pipe was fixed and the city started producing water again. The city is now trying to refill the water towers and restore normal water service.
“The big issue now is for people to conserve as much as possible until we get off this boil order,” Mr. Johnson said. He thought the boil order might last another week or possibly two.